REHOBOTH, Mass. (WPRI) — A Rehoboth horse barn went up in flames early Thursday morning, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage.
The fire reduced the eight-stall, six-acre barn to ashes and took firefighters more than three hours to contain.
The barn, located on Slater Street, is owned by Remembrance Hill Carriages and utilized by Equi Evolution, an equine-facilitated learning program that offers therapeutic services.
Sam Thorpe, an employee of Equi Evolution, tells Eyewitness News six horses and one donkey escaped the flames unharmed.
“It’s kind of surreal to get that message in the middle of the night, that the barn is completely burned down and everything we worked so hard for is up in the air,” Thorpe said, recalling when she first heard the news.
She said she’s grateful all of the animals survived and for the outpouring of community support.
“We’re truly blessed for the outcome, even with all of this,” Thorpe said.
After hearing the news, owner of Greenlock Therapeutic Riding Center Edith Wislocki offered to let Thorpe use her barn in the meantime. She also took in two of her horses.
“It could happen to any of us,” Wislocki said. “If you can reach out and help people, it’s really nice because we can partner with them, she can do her work here.”
Thorpe created a GoFundMe page to raise money not only to rebuild the barn but to assist in setting up temporary housing facilities for the rest of her animals. So far, the page has raised more than $2,700.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation at this time.