(CBS) — Fire destroyed a horse barn near St. Charles Thursday morning, but firefighters say the two horses inside that barn were saved, thanks in part to two good Samaritans.

It was about 10:30 a.m. when the call came in to the Fox River and Countryside Fire District about a fire in a horse barn near Wayne.

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Chief John Nixon says when firefighters got there, they saw a passerby inside the barn – trying to get the horses out.

“The resident arrived home at the time we were about midway through the fire and was quite emotional about it, thinking she had lost her horses… and was relieved to find they had been let out and were safe – away from the building, in the pasture.”

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Fire Chief Nixon says the man who helped rescue the horses was treated for minor injuries to his hands.  Nixon says that man is expected to get a commendation for his help.

And Chief Nixon says another good Samaritan helped care for one of the horses that may have been singed by the fire.

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The apparent cause of the fire: a heater that was used to keep the pipes from freezing.