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Forum staff reports, Published July 06 2011

Fire damages horse barn just outside of Hawley

HAWLEY, Minn. – A 28-stall barn at the Hightail Horse Ranch just outside of Hawley sustained minor damage in a fire Wednesday morning.

The barn was full of horses, and some cats and dogs, when an employee noticed smoke coming from stacks of hay about 10:50 a.m., said Charlotte Tuhy, owner of the equine rescue ranch.

“Because everyone worked so quickly and got their act together, the damage is minimal,” she said. Some feed was lost and a couple of support beams in the barn will need to be replaced, she said.

No animals or people were hurt.

Tuhy said some stacks of hay had been moved to the barn Tuesday night. She thinks the fire resulted from spontaneous combustion.

Barn Manager Maia Rasmusson called the Hawley Fire Department when she saw the smoking hay bales, Tuhy said. Boarders and volunteers started taking animals and hay bales out of the barn, and pouring water on the flames before the Fire Department arrived.