Trapped horses rescued from fire at Berkshire stables

Four horses trapped in a block of stables during a fire in Berkshire have been rescued by firefighters.

Five pumps, including one from neighbouring Hampshire, were called to the fire at Paices Hill, Aldermaston, at about 2300 BST on Monday.

Eight firefighters tackled the flames and officers trained in animal rescues led the horses to safety.

One horse suffered burns but a vet at the scene said its prognosis was good.

'Extremely hazardous'

One crew remained at the stables on Tuesday afternoon to cool a potentially-explosive acetylene cylinder.

"Large animal rescues can be extremely hazardous, not least of all because distressed animals can cause serious injuries to themselves, fire crews and other people around them," a fire service spokesperson said.

Group Manager Martin Vile said all of Berkshire's fire crews had now received animal rescue training, with six officers trained in advanced techniques.

"An animal rescue officer is sent to every incident involving large animals and we carry a range of equipment including horse head collars and lead ropes, which were used at this incident to lead the horses to safety," he said.

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