Lightning blamed for barn fire, kills 13 horses

Lightning blamed for barn fire, kills 13 horses

By The Associated Press. CREATED May 4, 2012

TOWN OF UTICA, Wis. (AP) -- Lightning is being blamed for a barn fire that killed 13 quarter horses in northeastern Wisconsin.

The fire was reported around 4 a.m. Thursday in the Town of Utica.

Fire investigators say the fire was caused by lightning striking an electrical box as storms rolled through the area. The 13 horses inside the barn were trapped as it burned.

The horses were trained by Larry and Rhonda Spratto, who own the property.

WBAY-TV reports ( that Rhonda Spratto was emotional when asked about the fire, saying the horses meant everything to her.

Town of Utica Fire Chief Tom Bean says the scene was not only difficult for the Spratto family but for the firefighters, too.