UPDATE: 'We are literally left with just a field'- Swanley stable destroyed after fire causes £50,000 of damage (From News Shopper)
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UPDATE: 'We are literally left with just a field'- Swanley stable destroyed after fire causes £50,000 of damage
A Swanley stable has been destroyed in a devastating fire causing around £50,000 of damage.
Six horses and foals were led to safety by firefighters after a barn fire in Swanley Village last night.
Crews from Dartford, Swanley and Thames-side attended the blaze in Gildenhill Road which started about 8pm.
Witnesses say the flames could be seen from as faraway as West Kingsdown which is more than six miles away from the field.
About 50 haybales also went up in flames at the New Hope Stables and they were still smoking on Thursday morning after heavy rainfall.
The horses called Deliah and Georgi, Al Capone, Olivia and Charlie-Sugar and Pickles were all trying to get over their ordeal, some were even left with coughs after the fire.
Dartford watch manager Ian Hampson was one of the officers who led the horses to safety.
He told News Shopper: “We were called to reports of hay bales alight. When we got there myself Firefighter Henham made our way across the fields on foot as there was a locked, metal gate blocking our access to the bails.
"When we reached the fire we realised that the nearby stables had set alight.
"The first two were completely enveloped by the fire.
"We looked into the third stable and found a mare and a foal – the fire was breaking through and if we hadn’t got there they would have had about a minute until the fire reached them.
"We got them out of the stable and worked our way down the rest of the stables saving six mares and foals.
"It was all we could do, we couldn’t save the stables because we didn’t have any water.
"The stables were 100 per cent destroyed in the fire, if we had been any later the horses would have perished.”
Danny Turner, watch manager from Thames-side fire station, addd: "The stables were completely alight when we arrived.
"Ian was the initial incident commander and he took charge of the situation.
"He is knows a lot about horses and he is a bit of a horse man.
"If you wanted anyone to get the horses out of the stables he was the man for the job.
"He saved the group of horses and foals and led them to safety."
Along with eight stables being totally destroyed there was also a caravan, trailor, feed barn, container and fencing.
One of the owners said: "We are literally left with just a field. But we are so thankful to the firefighters for saving the horses lives."
The club say they also had £7000 of tacking stolen on Tuesday and that included saddles and bridles which were left at the site.
A Kent Fire and Rescue spokeman said: "There are no reports of any injuries and the cause of the fire is currently unknown."
There was a burst water main in Church Road which Thames Water also attended to on Thursday causing delays in the area.