19 show horses die in northwestern Georgia barn fire

Authorities in Georgia say 19 show horses died when a barn went up in flames over the weekend

Nineteen show horses died when a barn went up in flames over the weekend, fire officials in northwestern Georgia said.

The barn near Cartersville, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Atlanta, caught fire early Saturday morning, according to the Bartow County Sheriff's Office. When firefighters arrived, they found more than a dozen horses dead inside.

The owner of the stable, Blake Carney, was out of town at a horse show at the time, he told WAGA-TV . But a caretaker who was in an apartment inside the barn made it out with a dog and one pony, Bartow County Battalion Chief Darrell Abernathy told news outlets.

Carney called the fire "every horse person's worst nightmare." He said he buried the horses Monday. Carney also said he lost many of his own belongings in the fire.

Investigators think the fire started near chips used for the horses' bedding, a Bartow County Fire Battalion Chief said. Fire Marshall Gary Garland said he believes the fire was accidental.

Wind that night caused the fire to spread rapidly through the wood structure, Garland added. Losses could be up to $3 million for the animals and 10,000-square-foot (929-square-meter) barn, Sandy Turner, another Battalion Chief, told a local outlet .