Poconos Coal

Fire destroys race horse training farm in East Penn Twp.

Broke out about 1:30 p.m. on Ben Salem Road.

EAST PENN TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Firefighters in East Penn Township are working to figure out what caused a massive barn fire on a horse farm Wednesday afternoon.

Heavy flames and thick black smoke erupted around 1:30 p.m. in the 1200 block of Ben Salem Road.

"Within a matter of two minutes it was through the entire building," said East Penn Township Fire Chief Robert Kleintop.

The 68-acre farm was a race horse training center.

The owner, Brewer Adams, says he was working in the barn when he smelled the smoke.

Soon after, he saw the flames and immediately called 911.

"As soon as I hung up with them I just started getting horses out," said Adams.

Adams says there were nine horses on the property and all made it out unharmed.

"The animals are my livelihood so I had to get them out and make sure they were safe and luckily they all got out in time," said Adams.

Adams says he got his horses to safety and then watched helplessly as the flames tore through his farm.

"Stood here and watched the barn burn down," said Adams.

It took firefighters hours to get the flames under control.

No one was injured.

Adams describes the farm as a beautiful training facility that he bought back in 2012.

"It was really nice, you know. There was a big arena here with a barn, an apartment and stalls."

The riding arena, all 19 horse stalls, and the apartment Adams rented out during the summer were destroyed.

He also lost all of the equipment stored inside the barn, estimating a total loss of nearly $3 million.

"It was pretty miserable," said Adams.

The charred horseshoes in the massive pile of rubble and debris is a tough sight for Adams but he says he plans to move forward and continue to train.

"Just go on, you know rebuild."

While investigators say the official cause of the fire is still unknown, they are calling it an accident.

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