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Fire destroys barn at Shelby Fairgrounds

A fire burned down a horse barn at the Shelby County Fairgrounds in Shelbyville, Ky., Sunday afternoon, barely missing a major Saddlebred horse show held the day before. The blaze spared horses and people, but leveled the barn, with 34 horse stalls, "down to the gravel level." The Shelby County Fair Horse Show held there ended on Saturday night and consisted of Saddlebred and ponies. Five tractors were also destroyed in the fire. The fire was reported at 2:30 and took two hours to extinguish. "The fire does not appear to be electrical, but it appears to be accidental," fire department Capt. Raymond Williams told the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader newspaper. A half hour before the fire, fairgrounds employees were cleaning and maintaining tractors, but no one was at the fairgrounds at the time of the fire, he said. A cause hasn't been determined yet, according to Beth Snider, executive secretary for the Shelby County Fair Board. No damage estimate was available. Fire department officials said the fire began in the center of the building, which is about 200 feet long and 100 feet wide. Several nearby barns were also spared. The fairgrounds board of directors happened to be on the fairgrounds after the fire. It'll be business as usual with the upcoming Shelbyville Horse Show set Aug. 4-7, Snider said. "That would have been devastating had it happened the day before. It would have been much, much worse," Snider said.

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