In the days following a devastating fire at a performance horse barn, the Milton community and beyond has rallied behind the cause to rebuild.
An online fundraiser for $25,000 has raised nearly half its goal in only two days to support Erin Longworth Performance Horses, a 35-plus-stall operation that offers lessons, camps and more, owned by Erin and Lindsay Longworth.
Milton police responded to the fire at 276 Westford Rd. at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 25. Milton Fire Department crews stopped the flames’ spread to the main portion of the barn, a press release said.
According to the GoFundMe page, Erin Longworth ran into the barn to rescue the horses.
“This morning I walked into hell,” a Facebook post from Erin Longworth, via the Vermont Quarter Horse Association, read. “I don’t know how, but the six horses in the back barn I was able to get out. It was fully engulfed.”
Milton police and six area fire departments helped evacuate the 35 other horses. No humans or animals were killed in the blaze, though some horses have “minor burns, scratches and bruises,” the fundraiser description says.
In a Facebook post after the fire, the barn’s page said two weanlings were being monitored for smoke inhalation. The Longworths thanked Vermont Large Animal Clinic in Milton for arriving within 20 minutes to help treat the animals.
The greatest loss was equipment: The Longworths’ truck, plus all the barn’s saddles, bridles, blankets, medical and show supplies collected over 30 years were destroyed, the GoFundMe says.
The quarter horse association published a list of needed items to include horse blankets, rubber mats, pitchforks and insulated buckets. Milton’s L.D. Oliver Seed said 100 percent of the donations to the Longworths’ account there will directly support the cause.
The barn also has accounts at Guy’s Farm and Yard in Williston and St. Albans, both open to donations. Donations are also being collected to pay back the large animal clinic for veterinary services.
“Erin and Lindsay have gone above and beyond to support friends and help out no matter what,” the GoFundMe says. “Now they need your help.”
Erin Longworth thanked their “extended horse family,” saying the support is humbling.
“Tomorrow is a new day and the next step in rebuilding,” the post reads.
As of press time Tuesday, police have not identified a cause of the blaze. The investigation is ongoing.
Fire crews from Colchester, Westford, Georgia, St. Albans, Fairfax and Essex all assisted on scene.
Donations are accepted at http://bit.ly/2Buu6DS.