12 horses have been killed after a fire swept through a livery yard in Essex last night.
Fire service crews were called to Elmwood Equestrian Centre in Burnham-on-Crouch shortly before midnight after passers-by saw a fire in the yard’s large stable building.
A number of firefighters attended the scene and attempts were made to save the horses from the building, but 12 horses tragically died.
An update from the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service this morning said that the cause of the fire is still unknown at this stage and firefighters are checking the scene for any further hot spots.
Station mangaer Craig McLellan said: “When firefighters arrived they found the fire was already well developed. The whole building was alight and the roof had collapsed.
"Firefighters worked hard to tackle the fire and stop it from spreading to any other building.
“However, despite the best efforts of passers-by who managed to save a number of horses from the building, some horses have tragically died at the scene."
A spokesperson for Essex Police added: “We were called by the fire service shortly before 12.30am today, Monday, December 4 to reports of a fire at Elmwood Equestrian Centre.
"A number of horses have died as a result of the fire. The fire is being treated as suspicious and investigations are taking place to determine the cause.”