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Animals Flee Burning Barn But One Horse Remains Trapped, Frozen In Fear

Written by: Stephanie Maguire
Stephanie Maguire is a writer for She loves animals so much that she started her own pet-sitting business in 2017, and goes out of her way to point-out and pet every single dog she sees.Read more
| Published on January 30, 2023

Fires are scary! They’re extremely hot, it’s hard to see, and it’s hard to breathe. So it should come as no surprise that a horse, an animal that’s naturally nervous, would be terrified.

The barn that was ablaze was completely destroyed, but not a single horse was injured. Though, it was a close call for 22-year-old Phoebe, who was stuck in her stall. 

Luckily, two brave policemen didn’t hesitate to run straight inside.


It was almost 11:00 am when officers arrived on the scene. A large horse barn had caught fire and was fully engulfed in flames. All the animals were already outside except for Phoebe, who was still in her stall amidst the blaze.

“That’s where we found a very frightened Phoebe. She was in her stall and didn’t want to come out because the flames were right there,” said Officer Hanus.

Technically, the 22-year-old paint mare could have galloped to safety all on her own, but she was frozen in fear. Who can blame her? Horses are already easily spooked, so finding herself inside a burning barn rendered her completely catatonic. 

But luckily, help was quick to arrive. Once the police officers heard that a horse was still inside, they immediately sprang into action and sprinted inside. 

“She was definitely terrified, um, the cops were fantastic, though. They jumped right in. I saw the footage, and I was just in awe. Like, oh my God, thank God they were here,” said riding instructor Lena Obernesser.

Despite the difficulty they had in getting her to move, the officers refused to leave Phoebe’s side. But the flames were literally feet away, and they were running out of time.


Once they realized that simply pushing wasn’t going to work, they requested a rope. In the body cam footage, you can see one of the officers reach for a harness. Together one pushes, and the other pulls. But it still wasn’t working. A hay bale was on fire near the door, so Phoebe remained frozen. 

It wasn’t until they had the help of a riding instructor that they were able to help Phoebe decide it was time to leave.

“I don’t know how I did it, just got behind it and tried moving her in the right direction,” explained Officer Hanus.

When you watch the footage, you’ll be on the edge of your seat. It’s no surprise that the short clip went viral, with more than a million views.

You can check-out the hair-raising, heroic rescue, below

Featured Image: YouTube