10 horses killed in Levy barn fire

Published: Sunday, July 29, 2012 at 9:38 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, July 29, 2012 at 9:38 p.m.

At least 10 horses died early Sunday morning in a Levy County barn fire, authorities said. The cause of the fire was undetermined Sunday night.

The barn was located on a farm just inside of Levy County at 21649 NE 30th St. near Williston, said Jessica Greene, Marion County Fire Rescue spokeswoman.

Numerous Marion County Fire Rescue engines were dispatched to help battle the blaze as part of a mutual-aid agreement, Greene said.

After the 2:13 a.m. blaze was spotted, the Levy County Sheriff’s Office called Marion County to assist, Greene said. Marion County arrived on scene at 2:40 a.m.

No one was reported injured in the fire. Greene said the barn was a total loss.

Earlier this year, nine horses died in a Reddick barn fire at McKathan Farms. In that April 1 fire, one farm worker was injured during the blaze, suffering first- and second-degree burns.

All of the dead and injured thoroughbred horses belonged to the farm's owners, including James B. “Luke” McKathan. Two of his sons -- J.B. McKathan and Kevin McKathan -- followed in the trade. The cause of that fire remains unknown, officials said.

In 2002, an Ocala Stud Farm training barn caught fire, killing 22 horses, most belonging to clients of the farm.

Investigators believed the cause of that fire was an electrical malfunction, but no specific source was ever determined. No foul play was suspected in that fire.

Joe Callahan can be reached at 867-4113 or at joe.callahan@starbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter at JoeOcalaNews.

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