Horse-riding arena damaged in morning fire in Enfield

Charred siding of the inside of the horse-riding arena. (Submitted photo)

ENFIELD: The quick actions of one of the owners of Todd Hill Farm in Enfield likely prevented a total loss of their horse-riding arena on the morning of Dec. 17.

When Karen and John Gillghan awoke, they saw smoke billowing from the horse-riding arena off to the left of their home, that is up a hill off Hwy 2 a bit.

As they saw the smoke, the two sprang into action, Karen calling 911 and trying to halter and get the six horses inside the arena out to safety, while John grabbed a fire extinguisher and climbed to nearby where the smoke was and spraying it on the fire.

All this happened as eight fire departments from Enfield; Station 45 (Fall River); Station 40 (Dutch Settlement); Lantz; Elmsdale; Station 42 (Wellington); Station 47 (Goffs); AND Station 43 (Grand Lake) responded with approximately 25 firefighters in total. Lantz and Elmsdale were stood down.

Fire trucks along Todd Hill Farm’s driveway (Submitted photo)

Luke Guthro with Enfield Fire was the Incident Command before HRM took command. He said upon arrival firefighters were met with medium volume grey smoke that was coming out the entire riding barn.

The owner met us on the left side of the front where he explained the fire was right inside a room that was off the main riding ring,” said Guthro. “The room was partially involved.”

The fire was quickly contained, and all the horses are fine.

“We had a quick interior knock down on it after a quick hit from outside,” said Guthro.

However, EHS did treat John Gillighan for smoke inhalation. RCMP also responded, given there was thought that Hwy 2 may be needed to be closed for fire crews to work.

Karen Gillighan said that the arena is fully insured and will be repaired.

She thanked all the fire departments that responded.

“Huge shout out to the Fall River / Waverley / Wellington/ Grand Lake and Enfield fire departments for their speedy arrival and attention to detail,” she said.

The outside of the horse-riding arena. (Submitted photo)

Karen Gillighan also said its an experience she wouldn’t wish on anyone.

“I can honestly say that the experience of trying to get a halter on a horse that’s running around the stall with his head in the air while smoke billows around you and you can see flames out of the corner of your eye is not something, I would wish on anyone,” she said.

She said that they have been given permission to ride in the arena, but no one is allowed into the stall area for now.

The cause of the fire has been deemed to be electrical the fire marshall told Karen Gillighan, she said.

Two fire trucks seen near the horse-riding arena at Todd Hill Farm. (Healey photo)