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Dettori-wedding horses saved in blaze

PUBLISHED: 10:54 26 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:10 03 March 2010

AS he sifted through the charred remains of his stables today a driving yard owner was full of praise for the neighbours whose quick actions saved horses' lives.

AS he sifted through the charred remains of his stables today, a driving yard owner was full of praise for the neighbours whose quick actions saved horses' lives.

The stables at Mike Daniell Driving Yard, in Hollesley went up in flames at about 9.30pm last night.

Carl Lennard, who was driving past at the time, spotted the blaze and

alerted the fire brigade. Another neighbour, John Hardwick, then ensured all the horses were released from the stables as quickly as possible.

Mr Daniell was back searching through the ashes of his business at the Poplar Park Equestrian Centre, off Heath Road in Hollesley, today.

He said: "My neighbour was coming back and he and a friend saw it first. They then got John from the cottages and they all came down.

"John is the hero of the day in releasing the horses. He managed to get them out unscathed.

"One of the main safety things you understand when you're in a yard is to get the horses out. That's exactly what they did. Their prompt action saved them.

"It's not easy getting them out. They don't want to come out of the doors when all they can see is the fire. It's very

difficult.

"Once they're out, however, they do tend to be manageable although a few may be somewhat excited.

"It's important to turn them out into a confined area and get them under control."

Ten horses were in the

stables at the time of the blaze and a number of them have since been moved to Mr Daniell's paddock nearby. He has also received an offer of accommodation for them from someone else in the equine business.

Although 13 stables were completely razed to the ground by the intensity of the fire and the business will inevitably be affected, Mr Daniell is determined to keep the effects to a minimum.

He said the horses will still be able to work. They are used for weddings, funerals, films, television, promotions and adverts and were seen in the recent TV show Nelson's Trafalgar and at Frankie Dettori's wedding.

Although a lot of items, including harnesses and tack, were destroyed in the fire, the carriages for the horses are stored in a different area.

"We've really got to try and sort through everything so we can keep to our business

commitments," said Mr Daniell. "All the stuff collected over how ever many years has gone up.

"We're lucky we've got some good friends to rally round and help.

"It's heartbreaking but you have to consider that no humans were hurt and we were lucky to get the horses out."

Last night's fire was brought under control within an hour, although crews stayed at the yard for a several hours to ensure it did not flare up again.

This morning areas of the charred wreckage were still smoking. A fire service investigation has begun into the causes of the blaze.

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