SIMSBURY, Conn. — Officials in Connecticut have formally concluded that a worn electrical outlet accidentally caused a barn fire that killed 24 horses in December.

The Hartford Courant reports the Simsbury Volunteer Fire Department on Friday released its investigative report on the blaze at Folly Farm.

The report says the fire began in an electrical outlet in a water heater closet in the 23,000-square-foot arena barn. Officials said a garden hose hung on the closet door often came into contact with a portable heater cord plugged in in the closet, and the electrical connection in the outlet became worn and damaged.

Authorities said the horses died of smoke inhalation.

Folly Farm is a 175-acre, family-owned farm about 10 miles northwest of Hartford. It offers horse riding and competition lessons, boarding and polo instruction.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.