Horses rescued from fire at Oaklands College, St Albans

PUBLISHED: 11:47 21 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:07 06 May 2010

TWO horses had to be rescued from a blazing barn at an equestrian centre last night (Wednesday). Firefighters were called to Oaklands College s Smallford agricultural campus in Hatfield Road, St Albans, at around 10pm. On arrival they found a barn contain

THREE teenagers from St albans have been arrested on suspicion of arson after two horses had to be rescued from a blazing barn at an equestrian centre last night (Wednesday).

Firefighters were called to Oaklands College's Smallford agricultural campus in Hatfield Road, St Albans, at around 10pm.

On arrival they found a barn containing stables and a tack room engulfed in flames and members of staff trying to rescue two horses from the inferno.

St Albans watch commander Pete Hatherley explained that a large stack of straw had caught on fire within the building which measured around 20 metres by 30 metres.

He said: "On arrival we were confronted with an open barn full of straw well alight and it had started spreading into the stable area. Three members of staff were with the horses in the stables but one of them was too scared and wouldn't come out."

"So we started our fire-fighting actions and put a protective curtain spray between the fire and the horses."

The horse was eventually led out of the building after the flames died down.

Police have arrested two boys and a girl, all aged 15, who are currently in police custody.

Keep checking www.hertsad.co.u, for further updates on the story.

The five fire crews in attendance were also met with reports that three unknown people seen going into the barn hadn't been accounted for.

Firefighters then entered the barn wearing breathing apparatus and conducted a thorough search for people with a thermal imaging camera but nobody was inside.

The crews left the scene at around midnight and firefighters from St Albans returned to the scene at around 2am this morning (Thursday) to ensure the blaze had not reignited.

Watch commander Hatherley said that the rapid actions of the firefighters had saved the structure of the building but the interior would need refurbishment work.

He also praised the equestrian centre's staff, three of whom received treatment for smoke inhalation from paramedics at the scene.

A fire investigation team will be at the centre today to establish the cause of the fire, which has been reported to the police.

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