SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE COUNTY (CBS4) — Four horses are dead following a terrifying barn fire in southwest Miami-Dade County over night.
But thanks to the valiant efforts of a good Samaritan, five horses were rescued from the blaze that began in at the El Sueno Ranch, 19890 SW 180th Street sometime before 2 a.m., according to Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue Capt. Eric Baum.
The owner of the burned Quarter Horses, Robert Chavez, was asleep in an apartment he shares with his mother that is attached to the barn.
Neighbor Jose Fernandez, heard sounds he recognized as panicked animals while he was watching television.
“I heard screaming and the peacocks were making noise,” Fernandez told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench. “ And I thought it might be a fire …”
Fernandez rushed next door on his ATV, and woke Chavez and began pulling some of the terrified animals to safety.
The four that died were trapped too far inside the inferno to save.
Chavez is devastated.
“My horses were the best but it’s unfortunate. I couldn’t get to them. I mean (pause, looking down and sighing) I couldn’t do nothing,” he said.
The charred remains of his beloved horses and some chickens still lay beneath the still steaming rubble of the barn.
“It was so big and so fast, I could do nothing but save the animals and the people. That’s what I did,” Fernandez said.
Chavez said while insurance will cover the cost of replacing the barn, nothing can replace his horses.
“It was chaos. It was an inferno,” he said. “It breaks my heart. These horses were right in the middle. They were trapped… my horses were the best but it’s unfortunate I couldn’t get to them … I mean, I couldn’t do nothing,”
So far an investigation has revealed the fire started in the tack room where saddles and other supplies are kept.