At least 15 horses were killed in a stable fire in Sergiev Possad in the Moscow region early Friday morning.Flames had engulfed the whole building, which housed 40 horses, by the time firefighters arrived at 1:45 a.m. on Friday, Interfax reported.
It took around three hours and 42 firefighters to contain the blaze, which had spread to 1,400 square meters, but seventeen horses were saved.
"We were also able to save four pigs and four rabbits," an Emergency Situations Ministry spokesperson said.
Later reports put the number of horses killed at over 20. No humans were injured in the fire.
Police are examining the area and have not ruled out the possibility that the blaze was arson.
The speed with which the fire spread and its point of origin indicate that an arsonist may have started it, Interfax reported, citing a police source.