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Oregon barn destroyed, horses killed in fire

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OREGON, OH (Toledo News Now) -

An Oregon barn is destroyed and dozens of animals have died after a fire early Thursday morning.

A total of 10 horses, a pig, goat and two ducks were killed. Of the 10 horses, six were therapeutic and four were privately owned.

"Shock and belief. I couldn't believe exactly what I was seeing. I know the horses that were in there, and we are all pretty close to those horses," said Earnie Dicknes.

The barns were located at the Vail Meadows Equestrian Center in the 6000 block of Cedar Point Road in Oregon. The house at the address did not suffer any damage.

No human injuries were reported.

Crews will investigate the scene, but the fire does not seem to be suspicious. A cause is yet to be found.

Vail Meadows is a nonprofit organization that use horses as therapy for mentally and physically-handicapped children and adults.

"People who have more challenges than the rest of us ride special horses, and the horses become a sense of pride for them," said Michael McGee.

"People just look forward to riding their horse - as they call them - for their hour a week, and it's going to hurt because they really look forward to that," said Dicknes.

But through the smoke, the Vail Meadows community has found hope. Their first ever therapeutic horse, Yuma, was in another barn at the time of the fire.

"He was the first one we had out here. He got things started. We plan to start with Yuma leading the way again," said Dicknes.

A local organization is hosting a 5K race May 25 to raise money for Vail Meadows.

Donations to help the organization can be made at the First Federal Bank of the Midwest on Navarre Avenue in Oregon.  Vail Meadows can be contacted at 419-697-8960.

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