An accidental fire caused by spontaneous combustion damaged a stall in an elaborate vacant stable under construction at a horse farm known as RCG Farm At Taunton Hill located at 38 Taunton Hill Road early on the morning of June 17.
There were no injuries. Damage is estimated at approximately $15,000.
Deputy Fire Marshal Rich Frampton said June 18 that the fire started when spontaneous combustion caused a stored drop cloth to ignite within the stable. Painters had been using that drop cloth while staining some woodwork.
The stored drop cloth had some residual flammable chemicals on it which caused the fabric to ignite due to its improper storage, he said. Such fires occur due to heat generated by internal chemical action.
The 17,400-square-foot stable contains stalls for about 20 horses, as well as two upper-level apartments, among other facilities. There were no horses in the stable when the fire occurred.
The building does not yet have a certificate of occupancy from the town.
Mr Frampton pointed out that the fire could have been worse, but the presence of water in an automatic horse-watering device in the stall retarded the spread of the fire.
The fire set off a smoke detector. Also, security staff at the farm reported the fire at 12:55 am.
About 25 firefighters from Hawleyville, Dodgingtown, and Hook & Ladder responded to the scene, said Hawleyville Fire Chief John Basso, who was incident commander.
The fire caused a heavy smoke condition with the stable.
After quickly extinguishing the blaze, firefighters used fans to evacuate accumulated smoke from the structure.
Chief Basso said that the fire caused the plastic piping that carries water to the horse-watering device to melt. When the piping melted, the water escaped, resulting in the fire being contained within the horse stall.
The private horse farm, which lies north and west of the intersection of Taunton Hill Road and Taunton Lane, is owned by Taunton Hill Road, LLC.
In November 2011, the Planning and Zoning Commission approved plans to develop the site with an elaborate horse farm.
When construction is complete, the facility will be used a private horse farm and will not be open to the public for horse boarding. No public events would be held at the site.