Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Wed, Oct. 16

Editorial: Expedient action and bravery saved the day

"Patience is a virtue."

"Run away from danger."

If the people who work at Yavapai Downs during the summer had abided by these usually sage words of advice, imagine the scope of tragedy Tuesday night's barn fire could have caused.

If not for the firefighters, who every day jump at the first warning to get into a situation where they could die, imagine the amount of destruction the barn fire would have resulted in.

Without everyone's quick and fearless actions, the probable outcome may have been disastrous.

The stable boys, groomers and trainers ran into the burning barn at 9:40 p.m. to get 16 horses out of their stalls. Anyone who knows how dangerous a scared horse can be knows that getting horses out of a burning building is potentially more fatal than the fire itself. Fortunately, none of the horses or the people died.

Twenty-one Central Yavapai Fire District firefighters extinguished the fire in the bales of hay, which was more difficult than the putting out the fire in the burning barn, and kept the damage to that one structure. If that fire had spread to the other barns, horses would have died. And since some of the owners of the quarter horses and thoroughbreds at Yavapai Downs support themselves and their family because the speed of these animals, their financial stability would have gone up in smoke as well.

And the fire, which started because of a short in a small refrigerator, was in the middle of our area's monsoon season. If it had been during a dry period, the fire could have led to a wildfire that could have engulfed Yavapai Downs, Prescott Valley Speedway, the eastern side of Prescott Valley, and raced up Mingus Mountain.

Quick and immediate action saved a whole lot more than the lives of 16 horses.

Well done, everyone!

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