Suspect charged in arson at Tioga Downs casino, 30 horses die in fire - Video

A man has been sentenced to prison for allegedly setting fire to a barn at New York's Tioga Downs casino. A man who tried to rescue the horse was burned.

Apr 8, 2024
3 min read
Barn fire at Tioga Downs Casino Resort, pictured above. Thirty horses died, a Good Samaritan
Barn fire at Tioga Downs Casino Resort, pictured above. Thirty horses died, a Good Samaritan was burned to death, and a man was


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Suspect charged in arson at Tioga Downs casino, 30 horses die in fire - Video

A man is in jail for allegedly setting a barn on fire at New York's Tioga Downs Casino Resort. Thursday's fire reportedly killed 30 horses and injured one person.

The suspect, Boyd H. Fenton, 32, of Athens, Pa., was arrested shortly after the fire. He was charged with third-degree arson, third-degree burglary, second-degree criminal assault and second-degree assault.

Fenton was tried at the local court. He is being held at the Tioga County Jail. Police did not provide any information about his motive.

The fire broke out early Thursday and frightened horses were seen struggling and screaming as the fire spread, The New York Times reported. None of the horses survived. Police initially estimated 24 horses were dead, but online publication Harnesslink later revealed the number killed was 30.

Edgar Clarke, a 68-year-old horse trainer, immediately grabbed a fire extinguisher after spotting the flames, but the fire was too strong.

"I couldn't get into the barn," Clark told The Times. "It was completely overwhelmed."

Clark suffered second-degree burns to his face and was taken to Robert Packer Hospital in Pennsylvania for treatment.

Horse lost in fire

Kayla Morris lost 12 horses in the fire, all of which she trained or owned.

I tried to get into the barn but I couldn't because the fire was so hot and I just screamed and screamed," she recalled in an interview with The Times."I sat there for four hours watching Burning it, hoping—hoping—that one of them would come out. "

Among the horses that died was 11-year-old Better Call Saul. He is owned by Lee Morris and has reached the winner's circle 24 times in his career, earning $267,202.

He was the love of my life,” Kayla Morris told Harnesslink. “He was sassy, ​​funny, and always hungry. He just wants to be loved. "

"We are deeply saddened by this tragedy," Tioga Downs owner Jeff Gural said in a statement posted on Facebook. A loss that no one could have imagined or anticipated." He praised the efforts of first responders but declined to comment further as the investigation is ongoing.

Gural is chairman of American Horse Racing Entertainment, which owns casinos and racetracks.

Tioga Downs Casino Resort is located in Nichols, New York, near the Pennsylvania border. It offers casino games with 890 slot machines and horse racing. Many of the horses that died in the fire were used for horse racing.


A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help passengers affected by the fire. As of Tuesday morning, 1,200 people had raised $157,531. The initial goal was $50,000.

Gural pledged to donate up to $100,000.

Fundraiser organizers said on their website that Tioga Downs "suffered an unimaginable loss this morning, with many people losing horses, belongings and years of memories in a tragic barn fire." .

New York State Police (NYSP) said the fire was "intentionally set" and caused "thousands of dollars" of damage. NYSP expressed its “condolences to the affected individuals and families who lost their beloved animals during this tragic incident.”

Multiple fire departments responded to the complex to put out the blaze, including crews from upstate New York's Nichols, Tioga Center and Waverly Patton fire departments. Crews from the Town of Windham, Athens Fire Department and Athens Borough Fire Department, Grand Valley EMS and the Bradford County Rehabilitation Center of Pennsylvania also assisted.

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