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22 horses were rescued from the boarding facility



Photo Credit: COURTESY GREG MUHR - A horse at the Chase Road fire in Gresham last Saturday. One horse died in the blaze, though 22 were rescued.

A barn fire near Sam Barlow High School has left one horse dead before Gresham Fire Department crews could extinguish the blaze.

Twenty-two horses were rescued from the 200-by-50-foot pole barn in the 29500 block of Southeast Chase Road on Saturday, Nov. 15.

“It was a challenging call,” said GFD Division Chief Mark Maunder, noting the strong east wind that day and a lack of fire hydrants nearby. Crews needed 2,200 feet of hosing before they could get adequate water supply to battle the fire.

The cause of the fire is officially listed as undetermined, but fire officials suspect that a work light in the northern end of the building came into contact with combustible materials or there was an electrical failure.

Firefighters were worried initially that an apartment in the barn was occupied but found no one.

“I pulled a 1 ¾(-inch hose line), forced the door on the apartment and searched the apartment and found no occupant,” a firefighter from Engine 76 wrote in a report. “I then sprayed water inside a large sliding door to attempt to save the roof structure from collapsing anymore and darken down the fire on the C side of the building where there were more stalls with horses still in their stalls.”

Maunder said he suspects neighbors who were around helping during the fire have taken in horses that couldn’t be kept in outdoor paddocks.

The private boarding facility’s property is valued in tax records at $334,530. Firefighters estimate the loss to the building of $150,000 with $50,000 in destroyed contents.

See a gallery of photos from the blaze by volunteer photographer Greg Muhr.


By Shasta Kearns Moore
Reporter
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