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Small fire breaks out at Santa Barbara horse facility

Hearts Therapeutic at current site for 20 years

Hay barn fire under investigation at...

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A fire destroyed an outdoor hay barn at the Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Center in Santa Barbara Thursday morning.

The flames ruined a newly delivered load of hay, used to feed the horses on the property, and the heat damaged tack gear in a storage unit next to the barn. Sixteen horses were on the property at the time of the fire. Sheriff's officials moved them out of the way and none were hurt.

"This is a huge loss but it's nothing compared to losing animals which we did not," said Hearts Therapeutic volunteer Connie Weinsoff.

Santa Barbara County Fire officials say the fire started just before 7 a.m. and the smoke could be seen from miles away. Firefighters had the flames out within minutes but the cause of the fire remains unclear.