An Accounting of the fire:
I saw reflection of police lights and there was a terrible pounding on the door. A policeman looked at me and said, what at this point in my life are the worst five words Iíve ever heard together Ö ďMam, your barnís on fire.Ē I felt as though I had just stepped into a nightmare. He tried to stop me but I ran, and as I slipped and slid my way down my driveway I saw the sky lit up out back and smelled the smoke. About twenty feet from the barn the heat stopped me. It was like the door on a thousand degree oven was just opened. The fire was absolute and ominous. I kept reaching for the door handle on the slider but my hand betrayed me and pulled back from the fire, it was like some horrible dream.
Where my loft door should have been was a gigantic ball of fire. It looked like the sun was trying to push its way through my loft door. And the lower doors, oh my God. There were no tongues of licking flame there either; you know what I mean, like you see in a fireplace? All around the top and side of the lower sliding door were what looked like sheets of fire; they were blowing through the tiny cracks of the doorís edges and they extended out about three feet. The sound was terrible, such a loud unholy roaring, and the black smoke was billowing from everywhere above. But the front exterior walls of the barn looked just the same as they did on a normal day. It was eerie and surreal. All I could think wasÖ ďMy horses!Ē ďSomeone set my horses on fire!Ē
Busting down the gates and running to the back, I kept falling. I had on house slippers and the ice melting from the heat was so slick and I could hear the policeman yelling, ďDonít go back there!Ē If he could have stopped me without killing me or knocking me unconscious, I think my soul would have died because though I knew nothing could be alive in that awful inferno I still hoped against all reasoning that by some miracle the fire was only burning along the inside walls at the front.
Oh my God! The back door was so tightly shut and the sheets of fire were still somehow managing to billow out around the edges with such force, like some terrible rocket was trying to lift off from inside. I kept trying to reach for the door but I kept falling. I ran back to the house screaming for Phil. I knew no creature could live in that gigantic furnace that was once my barn but like a little child, I expected him to fix it. I donít know how, but he pulled open the swinging door next to the slider on the front and the smoke just billowed out like some evil black cloud. We were both incredulous at the atrocity before us as we watched Hades rise from inside my barn. We were both incredulous at the atrocity before us as we watched Hades rise from inside my barn.
There are worse things that could happen and Iím grateful to God that they didnít but itís so impossible to dismiss this incident as insignificant as compared to whatís good about life. Oh, my God! Why did this have to happen? I would trade my life to spare my horses of the terror and pain that they endured. A total of eleven animals died including my three beautiful wild horses. Iím certain that it was arson but nobody else really cares. The news hit front page of two local Indiana papers ( NWI Times and Gary Post Tribune) on Dec. 30, 2010 but now itís old news for everyone but me and Phil.
Someone out there must know who committed this horrible act and I hope that they will have the courage and decency to turn in the perpetrator(s). They could do so anonymously, they should at least notify me.