Horse put down after being burned in a Fresno barn fire

A horse burned in a Fresno-area barn fire had to be shot and killed early Wednesday morning by a Fresno County sheriff’s deputy.

The cause of the barn fire at 2153 N. Feland Ave., near McKinley and Marks avenues west of Highway 99, is not determined. The fire started just before 1 a.m.

There was improper wiring and a space heater detected at the scene, but it’s not known which one may have sparked the blaze, said Pete Martinez, Fresno Fire Department public information officer.

The horse was covered in a blanket, was saddled and had blinders on, Martinez said. The blanket and the saddle were on fire when the horse ran off the property and went into a field down the street. A firefighter extinguished the fire on the horse, but the horse was in significant pain, officials said.

A deputy on the scene consulted with the Central California Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. SPCA workers were unable to go to the scene and recommended the horse be shot, which the deputy did, said Tony Botti, Fresno County sheriff’s spokesman.

There were no other injuries. Damage was estimated as $10,000.

Marc Benjamin: 559-441-6166, @beebenjamin