Five Horses And A Dog Die In Stable Fire
Paul Johnston aged 67 had created a beautiful setting for his grandchildren to play, sail and ride their horses in. The children loved what their grandfather had done for them and used the area on a regular basis.
About a weeks ago heaven turned to hell when their site went up in flames and killed their beloved animals.
"This is the go-to-place for my grandkids," said Paul, who was first on the scene.
"They're always up here, we've got plenty of little jockeys. It's paradise for them, but the kids’ paradise has turned to hell.”
"I arrived when it was well ablaze and in a state of semi-collapse. It was basically a timber construction and with a fairly high wind, it went in no time. I'd brought another two horses into the building to put a waterproof rug on them and put them back out again. I wish I'd put rugs on all of them and threw them out but the foal looked so cold and wet. Daft me was feeling sorry for them. I was looking after them, trying to give them the best care. Friday is the first time my 14-year-old granddaughter came up here since the fire; we didn't want the kids here while the embers were still burning and there was a smell. It absolutely broke her heart, she stood here and she howled. It's terrible."
Georgia Donaughee, aged 14 is following in her family’s footsteps by competing in equestrian events. Unfortunately, Georgia lost her horse named Red in the fire.
"I'd had Red for about 18 months. It was eventually going to be a replacement when her other horse retires."
The other five victims that were caught up in the blaze and lost their lives were Sparky, Marley, Tilly and Jilly, Paul’s 4 other horses, along with his seven-year-old rottweiler, Bruno.
Paul claims to have lost everything in the fire. All his equine equipment was stored in the barn that went up in smoke, but luckily for Paul there are so many people willing to help him out during this difficult time.
More than £4,000 has been raised for the family and equine equipment has been donated, with support coming from as far as America. Paul thanked everyone for their support.
Two men have now been arrested on suspicion of arson following the horrific incident.