A massive inferno broke out at a stable in Philippi on Monday afternoon [February 21]. The location, which is home to several horses and ponies, was enveloped by a plume of black, acrid-smelling smoke.

The Animal Welfare Service of South Africa (AWS) was alerted to the incident at one of the neighbouring farms in the Philippi Horticultural area at around 1pm and immediately sprung to action.

“By the time we arrived, the air was thick with smoke and toxic fumes, that made breathing very difficult and the flames were licking the walls of the nearby corrugated iron stables,” explains AWS.

“The stables were like ovens and the horses and ponies confined in them began to panic lashing out wildly in a bid to escape the inferno.”

Luckily, the AWS team are well versed in rescuing distressed animals from similar dangerous situations and immediately took control of the situation.

They focused their initial efforts on bringing three horses in immediate danger to safety. Within 10 minutes, all of the stables had been evacuated and all 12 equines led to safety.

Volunteers created a human water-bucket chain to help extinguish the flames threatening to destroy the stables, and the flames were put out by the time the fire department arrived.

The AWS operational teams will continue to monitor the situation in case of any flare-ups.

Pictures/s: Facebook / Animal Welfare Society of South Africa

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