Equestrian communities from across the nation are rallying behind a South Carolina businessman who lost upwards of $1 million worth of livestock in a massive fire that took place over the weekend. Now, the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) — which assists in arson investigations across the state — is investigating the conflagration.
On Friday (October 27, 2023), “heavy smoke” consumed the 6000 block of Scarlet Road within the Temperance Hill community of Marion County. Unbeknownst to neighbors, the black clouds were emanating from a steel barn nestled upon a nearby property.
First responders tell FITSNews they were dispatched to the neighborhood around 12:29 p.m. EDT, only to discover the building “fully engulfed” with flames. Four different fire departments were eventually called to extinguish the unbridled blaze.
“It was found that the structure on fire was a horse barn,” read an incident report provided by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO). “Animal control from Marion County as well as Mullins city [police] were on scene.”
By the time SLED arrived within the same afternoon, it was believed that upwards of thirty horses were killed by the fire. Only seven of the hoofed mammals were saved before it was too late, according to the MCSO responding officer.
The final fatality count was 38 horses and two dogs, according to an MCSO spokesperson.
The property in question is managed by Brian Thomas Barnhill, a renowned member of the Racking Horse Breeders Association of America (RHBAA). He’s the longtime owner of B&B Stables — a horse training business he purportedly started as a teenager.
In addition to a charity auction in B&B’s honor, friends of Barnhill have officially launched a five-digit GoFundMe to rebuild the “massive grief” and “unimaginable mess” before him. Incident reports list the total value of livestock damaged at $1 million — or roughly $30,000 per horse.
“Regardless of agency, rank, or station, your work is appreciated,” noted a statement from the MCSO. “It is our fervent prayer that everyone will be granted peace and rest. We are thankful that all first responders went home safely.”
As of Monday, the MCSO is awaiting a final report from SLED. Count on FITSNews to keep you updated as more information is made available.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Andrew Fancher is a Lone Star Emmy award-winning journalist from Dallas, Texas. Cut from a bloodline of outlaws and lawmen alike, he was the first of his family to graduate college which was accomplished with honors. Got a story idea or news tip for Andy? Email him directly and connect with him socially across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
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