Horses and Donkeys Die in Mass. Barn Fire

SHARON, Mass. --

The owner of a kennel in Sharon said he has no idea how the fire that killed nine horses and two donkeys that were boarding there started.

The blaze started late Tuesday night at Yankee Kennels on North Main Street.

Firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke coming from the barn, and when they tried to enter, the fire quickly took off.

"The smoke condition was so heavy that they had trouble maneuvering around the barn and even trying to gain access to get close to it," Sharon Fire Chief Dennis Mann said.

He said none of the horses could be saved as the blaze quickly escalated to three alarms.

Kennel owner Ed Little was asleep next door when he got a phone call from the police, telling him the barn was on fire. He rushed over to try to rescue the animals.

"I lost nine horses and two donkeys. I tried to get in to rescue them but the smoke was too great," Little said.

He said his inability to save the animals was particularly frustrating because he was once a firefighter.

"I was a firefighter for 36 years, OK. And, that's in your blood. You just do it, you know? And I just wanted to go in and save those animals. You know, I am an animal lover," Little said.

There were no injuries to any people in the fire but some of the horse owners were heartbroken as they arrived at the scene in the morning. There was nothing they could do but comfort one another.

Elizabeth Moscaritolo lost her horse, Cody.

"He was white, with blue eyes," Moscaritolo said. "When I first got him, he was very skittish, but he's really nice now ... or, he was."

Firefighters remained at the scene dousing hot spots while investigators searched for a cause. Ed Little said he has no idea how the fire started.

"I went through the buildings at approximately 8 o'clock and everything was clear. Didn't see nothing out of the ordinary," Little said.

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