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Fire destroys horse training facility

By Vinde Wells


The cause is not yet determined of a fire that destroyed a horse training barn near Oregon over the weekend.

Oregon Fire Capt. Randy Travis said Monday that fire officials are still investigating the March 4 fire in one of the barns at Horizon Horse Farm, owned by Kim Smeja at 2398 N. River Rd., approximately two miles north of Oregon.

Travis said the barn was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived on the scene shortly before 2:30 p.m.

All the horses were out of the barn before the fire department got there.

Strong winds hampered firefighters’ efforts, Travis said but they did save the portion of the structure where the horse stalls are.

“We knocked down the fire on the inside before the roof collapsed,” he said.

Firefighters from Mt. Morris, Byron, Stillman Valley, Franklin Grove, and Ashton assisted Oregon at the scene.

Travis said the barn is a total loss, and Smeja plans to rebuild.

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