Horses die in fire at equestrian centre in Essex

A fire engine on the way to an emergency

A fire engine on the way to an emergency - Credit: Archant

A number of horses have died after a fire at an equestrian centre in Essex.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service were called to the scene at Elmwood Equestrian Centre in Maldon Road in Burnham-on-Crouch at around 11.30pm last night, Sunday, December 3.

According to a fire service spokesman, 12 horses died in the fire.

He said passers-by had spotted the fire in a large stable building and immediately called 999.

“They did everything they could to save some of the horses from the building, however, despite their best efforts, a number of horses died at the scene,” he said.

Two fire crews from Maldon and two from Rayleigh Weir were joined at the scene by crews from South Woodham Ferrers, Tillingham and a water bowser from Corringham.

Station Manager Craig McLellan, said: “When firefighters arrived they found the fire was already well developed.

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“The whole building was alight and the roof had collapsed.

“Firefighters worked hard to tackle the fire and stop it from spreading to any other building.

“However, despite the best efforts of passers-by who managed to save a number of horses from the building, some horses have tragically died at the scene.”

As of 8am, fire crews were still at the scene dampening down and checking for hotspots.

A spokesman for Essex Police added that the fire is being treated as suspicious and investigations are underway to determine the cause.

Witnesses or anyone with information are asked to contact DS Andy Glister at Chelmsford CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.