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'It's a tragedy' : 7 horses die, 2 survive after barn fire near Tyrrell Park in Beaumont

Eric Charles tells 12News investigators have a reason to believe the fire was not an accident. Lab tests are currently being run to determine the exact cause.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Several horses are dead following a barn fire in the south end of Beaumont Tuesday night. 

Beaumont Fire Department responded to a barn fire Tuesday, October 4, 2022 around 11 p.m. near Tyrrell Park, according to Captain Wheat from the Beaumont Fire Department. 

MORE | GoFundMe to help 10/4 Riders with expenses

It happened at the 5500 block of Downs Road. The structure was fully involved when firefighters arrived at the scene. 

Beaumont Resident Eric Charles tells 12News that seven horses died, including one that was a young colt and one that was pregnant.

Two horses, one that belonged to Charles and one that belonged to his friend, survived the fire.

Credit: Eric Charles

Charles is apart of the 10/4 Riders group, which is a Southeast Texas recreational trail-ridding group.

On Tuesday, Charles left his horse out to the eat grass, so it was not in the stall at the time of the fire. His friend's horse was in a small free-standing stall that was not attached to the barn that burned.

Charles tells 12News that it was a small, wooden-frame barn with 10 to 12 stalls total. It had a corrugated metal roof. They also lost all their tack gear, blankets and saddle in the fire. 

Charles was out with some friends jogging the horses Tuesday evening. He says they have casual rides a couple times a week to condition the horses.

They left the stables at around 9:50 p.m. Around 11 p.m., Charles got a call that the barn was burning. 

Credit: Eric Charles

When Charles got back to the stables within 10 to 15 minutes from the initial phone call, firefighters were already on scene.  

Charles tells 12News that investigators have a reason to believe the fire was not an accident.

"Tragedy, that's the only way I can describe it, it's a tragedy. Lost everything we worked hard for and put time and money and effort and somebody came and took that away from us," Charles said. 

Credit: Eric Charles

Lab tests are currently being run and the exact cause of the fire may take a couple days to determine.

Charles says the barn didn't have electrical wiring. 

Worst nightmare ever I hope whoever set my barn on fire burn in hell like they burn my horses 7 horses died 2 survive!!!

Posted by Eric Charles on Wednesday, October 5, 2022

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This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information. 

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