4 horses rescued from barn fire caused by water heater, officials say

4 horses rescued from barn fire caused by water heater, officials say

Editor’s Note: Firefighters originally reported that the fire was started by a space heater. The story was updated with updated information.

Four horses were rescued from a barn that caught fire Sunday morning because of malfunctioning water heater, according to a release.

Beloit fire crews responded to reports of a barn fire around 10 a.m. at 3870 Gateway Blvd., officials said.

Firefighters found a barn fully engulfed in flames when they arrived, according to the release.

There were four horses in the barn when the fire started, but they were rescued by the owner and police officers, officials said. The barn is a total loss.

There was a new horse trailer parked by the barn, which was also lost, according to the release. The owner’s home, garage and vehicle were also damaged during the fire.

Damage is estimated at $71,000, officials said.

Investigators said the cause of the fire was a malfunctioning water heater that was hooked up to animal’s water to keep it from freezing.

Beloit Transit brought a bus to the area for firefighters to warm up, according to the release.