By GREG RUSSELL, Register Staff Writer
Gainesville Daily Register
Cooke County —
Horse trainer Greg Hall blamed an undetermined electrical factor for the fire Wednesday morning that killed eight horses on his County Road 123 ranch and destroyed an entire barn and its contents.
Hall, who estimated his total loss at close to $250,000, said he discovered the fire when arriving at the 35-stall property at around 11 a.m.
“It had to have been electrical,” he said Wednesday. “I was driving up the road, is when I saw it, and it probably hadn’t been going 10 minutes.”
Hall added that he keeps roughly 25 horses at the ranch and the other animals were uninjured, but that the barn destruction included the loss of a boat and landscaping equipment.
Cooke County Fire Marshal Ray Fletcher said a female subject also sustained mild arm burns during the incident.
“She was attempting to get in and do what they could about the livestock,” he said, adding that she was checked by medics and required no serious treatment. “She said she came out of the house when she saw smoke. She apparently came out at the same time he came up the driveway, and they both started doing what they could to rescue livestock.”
The barn fire is one of three blazes extinguished during the past week.
Fletcher said outbuildings on County Road 220 and FM 371 near Walnut Bend also recently caught fire.
The FM 371 incident, he explained, apparently began with a malfunctioning refrigerator in a recreational vehicle.
But Fletcher said the three incidents don’t appear to be in a related string of malicious mischief cases.
“I don’t see any linkage in the fires at all,” he said.
The marshal also said despite Hall’s diagnosis, he isn’t yet certain if Wednesday’s fire on County Road 123 was electrical in origin.
“That’s certainly one of the causes I’m looking at,” he said. “But at this point, I’m not sure.”