NJ barn fire deemed not suspicious; 22 horses died

AP News
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Posted: Jan 22, 2012 7:04 PM
NJ barn fire deemed not suspicious; 22 horses died

Investigators say a fast-moving New Jersey barn fire that killed 22 show horses this weekend does not appear to have been deliberately set.

But it's still not clear what sparked the blaze at Heritage Acres farm in Lafayette.

Betty Hahn, whose family owns the 20-year-old barn, says the horses were valued at $10,000 to $60,000 apiece. She says no hay or fuel was stored there, so she's baffled about how the blaze began.

State police say the barn was engulfed in flames when troopers arrived around 1:40 a.m. Saturday. The blaze was soon extinguished, but all the horses inside were killed.

Sussex County Fire Marshal Joseph Inga declined to say Sunday how long the ongoing investigation may take to complete, calling the fire "a very unfortunate incident."