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Oaklawn Fire Cause Not Yet Known

2 injuries in early morning blaze Tuesday


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - A total of six trucks responded to an early morning blaze Tuesday at Oaklawn Park racetrack.

Quickly, it became a chaotic scene as flames had to be doused and horses had to be moved.

Windows now sit empty and charred as a result of the fire.

“They said one of their barns was on fire,” says Tom Broughton, Hot Springs Fire Marshal. “That’s how we got dispatched.”

The evacuation of several horses left arriving firefighters jockeying for position.

“Smoke, low-lying smoke; that was another reason why it was difficult to weave through horses and the smoke to get to where we needed to,” Broughton explains.

Broughton said two people were hurt, but it’s unclear what their condition is as of Tuesday afternoon.

The fire started just before 6, and it was cleared around 8, but Broughton says his team was called back to the scene half an hour later.
“Part of the roof structure still had some small pieces in it that were burning, and because of the wind it kicked it up again,” Broughton continues.

The scene was cleared again and for good. Officials say horses were unharmed and returned to their stables.

As high winds continue to intensify, Hot Springs firefighters continued to remain on high alert — even at the racetrack.

“The layout is always unique during race season with horses and heavy traffic in the back, but our guys are used to it,” Broughton says.

There’s no word yet on what caused this fire. The fire marshal says it is still under investigation.

Original story:

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Cleanup is underway at Oaklawn Park racetrack after a minor early morning fire that injured two people.

"We are happy to report that all horses and humans are ok. We did have a fire in the Swaps barn, but it was quickly contained and only affected two dorm rooms. Thank you to everyone who jumped into action to help out this morning," read a post on the track's Facebook page.

"I saw people from all over the track trying to help. All the vulnerable horses were quickly moved to safety in other barns," posted Joey Seay on Facebook.

A report on bloodhorse.com stated that the blaze broke out around 5:45 a.m. Tuesday and that 
about a half-dozen residents were displaced by the dorm fire. Track officials are assisting them in relocation efforts, the report said.

The bloodhorse.com story also stated that about 40 horses were moved from the barn during the fire and were able to return to their stalls in the same barn by about 7 a.m.

Click here to see aftermath video posted on Facebook by Joey Seay.

Photos by Kellyn Gorder (horse trainer) on Facebook.

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