Community helps Murray horse stable bounce back after barn fire

MURRAY, Ky. — No word yet on what caused a fire at a local barn, killing one horse.

The fire happened Tuesday afternoon at Split Rail Stable near the corner of Potts Road and 121 North in Murray, Kentucky.

Owners Lance and Marsha Harper put their lives in danger to rescue the three horses trapped inside the barn.

“We made it into the barn and it was just completely engulfed in black smoke and flames,” says Marsha.

“We got most of the horses out,” says Lance. “We’re very deeply sorry for the one we weren’t able to save. He just would not come out.”

The mess the fire left behind became a constant reminder of what happened that day and the life that was lost.

“You know that you tried your best but you feel like you failed,” says Marsha.

Terry Ballard, owner of Ballard’s Tack and Supply in Paducah, volunteered to clean up the scene so the family could focus on rebuilding.

“They need to be here looking at what’s going to be, not what was,” says Ballard. “So that’s why I’m here.”

Several students at Murray State University board their horses Split Rail Stable. When Ballard learned that the fire destroyed nearly everything needed to care for the large animals, he invited the group to go on a thousand dollar shopping spree at his store.

“It’s what we do,” says Ballard. “We give back to the community.”

Ballard isn’t the only one helping out. MSU student Danielle O’Bryan says the donations have been pouring in.

“You’re like, oh man the world is such a bad place and then when tragedy strikes you, they really come together, the people in the community.”

Marsha says Marshall County Co-Op also took the group on an in-store shopping spree.

“It’s just been overwhelming in a good way,” says Marsha.

Marsha says construction on a new barn could start as early as this week.

If you’d like to help out, Ballard’s Tack and Supply is collecting donations at its store in Paducah.

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