Community rallies in support of horse rescue after freak fire destroys pickup, trailer and hay
TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - The Peaceful Acres TX Horse Rescue in Temple has worked to rescue horses for the past five years, and on Thursday, its mission suffered a serious setback when a cigarette tossed from a passing semi truck ignited a load of hay and destroyed the rescue’s heavy-duty pickup and trailer.
Central Texans are now coming to its rescue after the fire on Highway 7 in between Chilton and Bruceville-Eddy.
Allen Stewart, one of the owners of the rescue, said he was on his way back to his Temple farm with a load of hay when the driver of a semi-truck next to him threw a cigarette out of the window, setting his load of hay on fire.
“It was a really hard hit yesterday,” said Sherry Stewart, Allen’s wife and co-owner of the rescue. “I thought, maybe, this was the end for us. Maybe it was time to call it quits?”
The Stewarts currently have about 30 horses, most of them rescued from abuse and even kill pens. They said they were collecting hay to prepare for the winter. The Stewarts said, ideally, they need 80 round bales and 600 square bales of hay.
The trailer destroyed by the fire Thursday was hauling 130 square bales on it - all of it reduced to ashes. Luckily, they said there was a second smaller trailer with 80 square bales that made it to the farm safely.
Less than 24 hours after the fire, the Stewarts said they have received an outpouring of support from people across the area.
“My phone hasn’t stopped dinging from people calling, texting, sending donations,” Sherry Stewart said.
One person who recently adopted a horse from Peaceful Acres TX has even written a check to cover the total cost of the hay lost in the fire.
And on Friday morning, Sherry Stewart said she looked out in the pasture to see someone driving towards their farm with 3 round bales of hay to donate.
“It’s just really been an amazing thing for the community to support us in the way that they have and I just couldn’t thank them enough,” Sherry Stewart said.
The Stewarts say even as they receive an outpouring of donations what they need the most now are volunteers to help them pick up more hay.
Anyone seeking to volunteer or donate can contact Peaceful Acres Horse Rescue at 254-563-0031.
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