Fire Destroys Horse Barn Near Hickman

Laura Stueck and her husband had just gone to bed 30 minutes before waking up, to what they wish, was Monday morning's alarm.

"This was just a dream," said Stueck, "and I don't know how in the world this could possibly happen."

But it wasn't a dream. What awoke Laura Stueck at 1:30 a.m. Monday morning was the beginning of a living nightmare.

"We had two neighbors come to our door and knock like crazy and one of our dogs started barking," Stueck said. "We walked out of bed and saw that the barn was on fire and ran down here and started getting horses out."

Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner believes it was an electrical fire that totaled the Still Waters Ranch barn in Hickman. Stueck said the biggest concern right now is keeping the horses healthy in the cold.

"We don't have water, but we're getting it and hauling it," Stueck said. "We have this big, huge tub of water that we're filling all the water buckets up with so, we're figuring it out."

And they're getting a lot of help doing that. Family friend Makenzie Rath has worked with one of the horses at the barn for the past couple years, and said she isn't surprised with all the support the family is getting.

"It's a mutual love of horses and the sport and what we do," Rath said. "We've all formed such great friendships doing it that when it happens to one of us it happens to all of us."

Stueck has been getting so much support, she said the full extent of what's happened hasn't hit her yet.

"I'm trying to be okay," Stueck said. "I think once everybody leaves and everything settles down it'll be my time to break down."

Wagner said the barn was a total loss. Damage is estimated at $250,000 for the building and $50,000 for the horse equipment that was inside.

A website for the ranch says Still Waters Ranch's mission is to share God's gift of horses by welcoming anyone interested in all that horses can offer regardless of age, ability or income. They offer camps, boarding and riding lessons.

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