According to a media release by the New York State Police, Boyd H. Fenton of Athens, Pennsylvania, allegedly intentionally set a fire in a Tioga Downs Casino barn
A barn fire in Nichols, New York, on Thursday morning caused the death of over 24 horses and the injury of one individual.
According to a media release by the New York State Police, an investigation revealed that Boyd H. Fenton of Athens, Pennsylvania, allegedly entered the barn at the Tioga Downs Casino complex and intentionally set a fire.
Apart from the death of multiple racehorses, his alleged actions caused thousands of dollars worth of damage, according to the NYSP. The NYSP reported that one person who attempted to save the horses also suffered second-degree burns and was transported to Robert Packer Hospital for treatment.
The work of multiple agencies was needed to put out the fire. According to the NYSP, the burning flames were put out by the collaborative efforts of the Nichols, Tioga Center, and Waverly Barton fire departments.
Pennsylvania fire departments also responded to the scene, including Wyndham Township, Athens Fire and Athens Borough Fire, Greater Valley EMS and Bradford County Rehab trailer. Other responding agencies included the Tioga County Emergency Services, Tioga County Fire Investigation, the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, and the New York State Police.
Chairman of American Racing & Entertainment, Jeff Gural, issued a statement on Facebook expressing that the tragedy "was a loss no one could have imagined or expected."
"It is an active investigation so we are not able to comment any further at this time. We would like to express our sincere gratitude for all of the first responders who rushed to our aid, we have a wonderful community and we are honored to be a part of it," his statement added.
Fenton, 32, was charged with third-degree arson, third-degree burglary, second-degree criminal mischief, and second-degree assault. He was arraigned and remanded to the Tioga County Correctional Facility.
The New York State Police confirmed that their investigation remains ongoing and offered "condolences to affected individuals and families that lost their beloved animals during this tragic incident."
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A GoFundMe that was started to support the horsemen, who were affected has over 800 donations as of this writing and has surpassed its $50,000 fundraising goal.
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