28 racehorses killed in upstate barn fire

A raging blaze killed 28 harness-racing horses early Saturday at an upstate barn.

The fire broke out at around 3 a.m. on the grounds of the 63-acre Mount Hope Training Center in Orange County, according to a stable worker.

“We could not save one horse,” according to a worker, who identified himself only as Saur. “They are all dead.”

The man, who was in charge of eight horses in the barn, said the horses were brought back to the grounds last night at around 1:30 a.m. after racing in the Poconos.

“The guy got up to feed them in the morning about three o’clock in the morning. He saw half the barn on fire. He came back and shouted, ‘Fire! fire!’ and everybody was running to help to save the horses.

“By three seconds, it just [went] poof,” he said, throwing both hands in the air. “The whole barn caught fire.”

Saur said he could see — and hear — the horses’ agony.

“They were crying like babies. They are like humans…This is killing me.”

Another worker had the grim task of spray painting numbers on the charred carcasses.

Dean Eckley, one of the trainers who lost horses in the fire, said no humans were in the barn at the time.

The center features 230 stalls and a half-mile track.

An online fundraising effort was launched to help the trainers affected by the incident.

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