McCONNELSVILLE, Ohio — An overnight barn fire earlier this week that killed eight horses is being called a hate crime after police said they found homophobic messages painted outside the building, leading them to believe the fire was deliberately set.
Seven adult horses and one foal died as a result of an arson fire […] just after 11:30 p.m. on Sunday. Owner Brent Whitehouse said he woke to discover the barn engulfed in flames and immediately called 911, but it was too late.
“I couldn’t get the door open I could still hear the horses kicking and I tried as hard as I could to get them out and I just couldn’t get them out in time,” he said.
Those who know Brent believe this was a hate crime, explicit words relating to his sexuality were spray painted in large white letters on the side of the barn before the fire was started.
The Fire Marshal’s Office has offered a reward of up to$5,000 for information leading to the identification of those responsible.