Police investigating arson case in Kamas after barn fire endangers dozens of horses

Posted at 8:12 PM, Jun 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-04 23:28:10-04

KAMAS, Utah -- Police in Kamas are searching for an arsonist responsible for burning down a barn, nearly killing dozens of horses.

The fire took place around 12:30 a.m. Friday at the High Star Ranch.

The South Summit Fire Protection District says it only took about 15 minutes for the barn, consisting of a wood frame and tin roof, to burn to the ground.

Just a few hundred feet away, about 40 horses were pent up in their stalls, with nowhere to go as smoke and flames swept toward them.

"I just want to sit home in my room and cry basically because these are my babies, this is what I do if I'm not with my friends; I'm with my horses," said 13-year-old Falon Siddoway.

Siddoway's family has two horses stabled at the ranch. She is so thankful firefighters put out the flames before they could spread any further.

"They are my best friends, I tell them everything and anything, so if anything were to happen to them I don't know what I would do," Siddoway said.

Inside the barn, two horse trailers, a back hoe, and two tons of hay were destroyed.

"Hay really burns relatively slowly, but it's practically impossible to put out unless you dunk it in a bucket of water," said Chief Scott Anderson with the South Summit Fire Protection District.

The overall estimated cost of damage is $1.5 million. Police say this was no accident.

"There was accelerant used, so there would be reason to investigate it as an arson related fire," said Kamas Police Chief Brad Smith.

Investigators say they have a few leads but not enough evidence to make an arrest.

"There were some surveillance videos that showed some suspicious activity going on up here," Anderson said.

As for the ranch, they lost 90 percent of their hay in the fire. Feeding the horses has been a challenge.

"So we had to give them grass, and, sometimes if they get too much grass or too much alfalfa in their hay, they can colic and then that makes them die," Siddoway said.

Investigators believe this is an isolated incident and don't want other ranchers to panic. However, they also say this is a concern for what is otherwise a very safe community.

"We want to make sure that we get this taken care of, so that we can maintain that rural neighborhood community kind of thing of being a friendly and nice place," Anderson said.

If anyone out there has any information on this fire you are being urged to call Kamas Police at 435-783-4344 or Dispatch at 435-783-4356.

The High Star Ranch is also offering a reward to anyone who comes forward with information that leads to an arrest.