BONDURANT, Iowa -- It all happened so fast. The children and the horses escaped, but the barn went up in flames. Firefighters used 225,000 gallons of water to put it out and to prevent it from spreading to nearby homes.
"It was just gut-wrenching to see that the farm that we loved so much was fully engulfed in flames," said Daniel Clark, owner of Clark Family Stables. "It's hard to put into words. It kinda makes you sick just a little bit to think about it."
On Wednesday afternoon, Clark was working inside his home on NE 80th Street in Polk County, near Bondurant, when he was notified that his barn was on fire.
"I came out of the house, came down to the barn, the facility itself, and tried to go in," said Clark.
There was so much smoke, Clark wasn't able to get in. An instructor who Clark rented the facility out to was teaching kids how to saddle horses at the time the fire began. All of the children and and horses made it out okay.
On the Chasing Laurels Facebook page, instructor Chase Corley wrote, "I am proud of the children who listened when I told them to take their horses and leave the indoor arena & barn. I'm proud of the horses, especially Fillion for alerting us that there was a fire on the ceiling in front of his stall. And then, for the horses that listened as I frantically attempted to get 7 horses out of their stalls... as the barn filled with smoke till I could not see."
Meanwhile, Clark's glad everyone's alright, but he's also still reeling from watching his property go up in flames.
"I mean, yeah, everyone and all the horses made it out safe and everyone's okay, but at the end of the day it was still, you know, our farm that we bought to enjoy and it's gone."
Clark does have insurance, but he's not sure what it will cover. He does hope to rebuild, but right now is not sure what the future holds.
Meanwhile, the horses that were in those stables have been displaced and are in need of a new place to stay. A GoFundMe account has been set up to raise money for new equipment for the stable.