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No Cause Determined For Stable Fire That Killed 18 Horses

Firefighters battle an extra-alarm blaze at a horse barn at the Black Tie Stable in unincorporated McHenry County near Johnsburg on April 11, 2012. Officials said it appears seven horses died in the fire. (Photo courtesy: Emily Spooner)

Firefighters battle an extra-alarm blaze at a horse barn at the Black Tie Stable in unincorporated McHenry County near Johnsburg on April 11, 2012. Officials said it appears seven horses died in the fire. (Photo courtesy: Emily Spooner)

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McHENRY TOWNSHIP, Ill. (CBS) — The fire in the Black Tie Stable in unincorporated McHenry County that left 18 show horses dead has been ruled an accident.

But as WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports, the exact cause for the blaze not been found.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports

The Chicago Tribune reports investigators say they looked into several possible causes – a charcoal grill, a heat lamp, even a controlled burn at the stable.

But McHenry Township Fire Protection District prevention officer Tony Oliver tells the Tribune that because of all of the debris inside the barn, investigators were unable to pinpoint the cause.

Oliver says there is no longer an active investigation. He tells the Tribune the blaze will remain an accidental fire of undetermined origin.

The fire broke out around 5 p.m. April 11 at the barn at Black Tie Stable, at 101 W. Bay Rd., just east of Johnsburg in unincorporated McHenry County.

Initially, officials said 7 horses were killed in the blaze, and 24 others were rescued. But the day after the fire, officials raised the death toll to at least 18 after sifting through the rubble of the destroyed barn.

The Tribune reports the stable is owned by Arabian horse trainer Richard Wright, but the land – called M&R Overlook Farm – is owned by Ralph and Midge Lindblom. Speaking to the Tribune, Wright would not speculate on the cause of the fire.