11/02/2005 1:00AM

Fire kills 24 racehorses

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Twenty-four Thoroughbred racehorses were killed Tuesday night in a fire that consumed an entire barn at the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md.

According to the manager of Fair Hill, Sally Goswell, the fire claimed the lives of 11 horses trained by Bruce Jackson, four horses trained by Richard Lugovich, three horses trained by Peter Alexander, two horses each trained by Richard Trimmer and Clyde Martin, and one horse each trained by Don Deneno and Malcolm Cook.

An eyewitness called 911 about the fire at 6:47 p.m., Goswell said. Firefighters from three states had the blaze under control by 8 p.m., but by then the fire had burned down the entire barn.

Four horses in the barn escaped, according to Goswell, but the rest likely died of smoke inhalation, "without any undue suffering," before the roof collapsed at 6:55 p.m.

The fire is still under investigation, Goswell said. Deputy Fire Marshal W. Faron Taylor could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.