SARATOGA SPRINGS – Close to 20 horses have been evacuated after a barn fire at the Saratoga Casino and Raceway.
Shortly after 6 a.m. on Friday, March 28 the Saratoga Springs Police Department received a call from the Saratoga Casino and Raceway in regards to an active fire at one of their barns.
The barn is number 15, which is located inside the fence near Gridley Avenue. The evacuation took place without any injuries to the horses. One person was evaluated for smoke inhalation, but not transported for medical aid.
The horses were evacuated by Saratoga Springs Public Safety personnel, the Casino and Raceway's security staff and other employees on site. The Saratoga Springs Fire Department brought the fire under control. The cause of the fire was deemed electrical and an accident, although the investigation will continue.
Update: Rita Cox, Senior Vice President at Saratoga Casino and Raceway issued the following statement at 12:45 p.m. today:
"Friday morning at 6:15, a fire was discovered by a backstretch security manager and local horsemen in barn #15 at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. All horses were immediately evacuated and no injuries have been reported. The Saratoga Springs Fire Department quickly contained the fire and is working to determine the cause. The 26 stalls in the barn were fully occupied at the time and all horses have been safely relocated to other barns at the facility. Damage to the barn was confined to 6-8 stalls and 2 tack rooms on the west end.
"Saratoga Casino and Raceway’s backstretch includes 34 horse barns with 1,040 stalls. There are currently 600 horses housed at the facility. There have been no significant fires in over 20 years. Inspections of the 50 structures located at the facility are conducted regularly by local fire officials, most recently in May 2013.
“The quick response of our team members and horsemen ensured the safety of all horses and personnel impacted by today’s events,” said Saratoga Casino and Raceway’s COO, Jamie Hartman. “We are also very grateful for the immediate response of our local Saratoga Springs Fire Department, whose quick response ensured that the fire was quickly contained.”
"The live harness racing schedule will not be impacted. Post time on Friday and Saturday is 6:45pm."