MONTGOMERY, MI (WTVB) - Fire officials say 35 horses perished in a weekend barn blaze in Branch County’s California Township. However, Montgomery Fire Chief Brad Freeburn said today there was some misinformation released about the blaze that needed to be corrected. Freeborn initially reported that the barn owner was also a horse trainer for the animals that died in the Saturday blaze. However, the barn owner, Nathan Baker, only leased it and the horses were trained by Louis Grabber, who also lived at a house on the property and was there when the fire broke out. In addition, Freeburn said they were not race horses as he originally reported.
The structure was engulfed in flames when firefighters reached the scene along Paul Road in the far southeast corner of the county after a passerby spotted smoke and called 9-1-1 around 12:30 in the afternoon. The barn was declared a total loss. It’s believed an electrical problem sparked the blaze. A state fire marshall officer will be assisting in the investigation.
Montgomery firefighters received mutual aid from the Quincy, Camden, Fremont, and Reading fire departments.