NORTH SMITHFIELD – A fire engulfed a large barn at the Phoenix Rising Equestrian Center overnight, with North Smithfield Fire & Rescue calling in several neighboring communities to help fight the blaze.
Firefighters responded to the farm at the intersection of Pound Hill and Old Pound Hill Roads, after midnight on Thursday, June 2. Tanker trucks had to be brought in to fight the quick-spreading blaze, which started at the back of the barn, due to a lack of hydrants in the area.
The majority of the blaze was knocked down in around an hour, but firefighters were on scene into the morning, with smoke still rising from the large structure.
The fire was contained and kept from spreading to other areas of the property, and no people or animals were reportedly injured.
The barn, a secondary building on the 10.9-acre horse farm, was completely destroyed. The structure served as an indoor riding ring with viewing areas, surrounding horse stalls and storage for hay, grain and shavings.
Erin Hough, a North Smithfield resident whose horse, pig and chickens live at the farm, has started a fundraiser to help replace some of what was lost for owners Erin Poulos-Pavao and Jason Rotulo.
“It was also much more than a physical structure,” noted Hough on a GoFundMe page for the business. “The indoor ring held special memories for every one of us. First lessons were taught, pony rides spread smiles, and events happened under this roof.”
“This farm is also a small business, and this fire is a tremendous blow,” Hough said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.