Local News

Tossed cigarette likely sparked trailer fire that killed six horses

Posted April 15, 2011 10:27 p.m. EDT
Updated April 16, 2011 8:37 a.m. EDT

— A cigarette tossed by a passing driver likely sparked a fire in a horse trailer on Interstate 95 that killed six thoroughbreds Friday night, according to the Nash County Sheriff's Office.

The truck was northbound on I-95 south of Rocky Mount, when a camera showed the driver that smoke was coming from the horses' stalls in the trailer, state troopers said. 

The driver woke up a back-up driver in the cab, and they tried to put out the fire, but it quickly got out of control. 

One of the drivers suffered burns while trying to save the horses, but they all died.

Troopers said a discarded cigarette from a passing vehicle likely flew into one of the partially open stalls, setting fire to the hay, troopers said. 

The vehicle was transporting the horses from Florida to New York. 

I-95 was closed after the fire, causing traffic to back up for miles.