Heat Lamp Likely Source of Fatal Barn Fire in Kentucky

A fire last Friday that resulted in the deaths of 22 horses at the Cross International training center in Henderson, Ky. was apparently caused by sparking from a heat bulb or heat lamp.

The Henderson Gleaner reported the state Fire Marshal's Office determined the probable cause after conducting an investigation into the early-morning blaze at the facility that formerly operated as Riverside Downs racetrack.

The newspaper reported there are no plans to rebuild the barn, which was not insured and is owned by Mark Bowling, Roger Meuth, and Delbert Meuth. The owners' Cross International bought the facility in 1999 at a bankruptcy auction.

Eighteen horses died inside the barn when it was engulfed in flames and four others escaped but died later as a result of injuries sustained in the fire.

Fifteen of those horses were trained by Steve La Rue, who owned three of the 15 and also lost all of his equipment.

Cross International provided equipment during the eight-hour process of burying the horses on Sunday.