Five horses confirmed dead in Lafayette fire

Despite the efforts of one horse owner to save confused horses from a blaze at a north Lafayette barn Friday afternoon, all five of the animals died in the fire that investigators believe began by accident.

Scott Fire Chief Chad Sonnier said a lamp sitting in the barn somehow was knocked over and ignited the fire.

Witnesses said the fire spread quickly at the barn, which sat behind a house in the 1000 block of Dugas Road. Firefighters were able to keep the fire confined to the barn.

“Whenever I pulled up (to the barn) the guy across the street was running,” said John Billiot, who owned one of the horses.

“I saw the flames billowing out. The flames were everywhere,” he said. “It was burning real hot.”

Billiot said he entered the burning barn in his attempt to guide the horses out, but the horses were confused and stayed inside as the wood and hay burned around them.

Billiot did unlatch all of the stalls, but only of the horses managed to exit a stall, but the horse remained in the barn, said Alton Trahan, spokesman for the Lafayette Fire Department.

“It was nothing nice at all,” he said. “It was bad. Most died in their stalls.”

Billiot and Dale Angelle, the owner of the barn, surveyed the smoldering rubble of the destroyed barn and firefighters who continued to spray water on the hot spots as a chilly day turned into a cold night.

Angelle said the horses that died were “three racehorses and two saddle horses.”

One of the race horses, “Wigs N Secrets,” was owned by Billiot. He said the horse was a filly and a gift to his 2-year-old son.

Three of the horses were owned by Joseph Boxie and and other was owned by Chad Mouton.

Sonnier said the fire was called in at around 3 p.m.

Firefighters and trucks from Scott and Carencro responded, Sonnier said.

By 5 p.m. the firemen were rolling up hoses as investigators continued to comb through the debris.