Lightning blamed for Town of Utica fire that killed 13 horses

Lightning is being blamed for a barn fire that killed 13 quarter horses in northeastern Wisconsin.

The fire was reported about 4 a.m. Thursday in the Town of Utica.

Fire investigators said the fire was caused by lightning striking an electrical box as storms rolled through the area. The 13 horses inside the barn were trapped as it burned.

The horses were trained by Larry and Rhonda Spratto, who own the property.

WBAY-TV reported that Rhonda Spratto was emotional when asked about the fire, saying the horses meant everything to her.

Town of Utica Fire Chief Tom Bean said the scene was not only difficult for the Spratto family, but for the firefighters, too.