PORTAGE TOWNSHIP | Two horses died in a Sunday night barn fire at 739 W. County Road 700 North.
The blaze was reported at 10:24 p.m. and firefighters remained on the scene until 3:30 a.m., said Brian Mosley, assistant chief at the South Haven Volunteer Fire Department.
Two firefighters, one from South Haven and one from Ogden Dunes, were treated for heat-related illness, he said.
There were 16 horses in the barn at the time of the fire, according to authorities.
Porter County Sheriff's Department and the county's animal shelter are working to find foster homes for the horses, who are no longer able to be housed in the barn due to the damage.
Victor Maldonado, 37, of South Haven, said he and his family were outside when they realized the barn was on fire. He opened the gate and 14 horses escaped. Two horses refused to get out of the barn, he said.
"I worked nine years on my barn. It went down in 20 minutes," Maldonado said.
Valparaiso resident Gayle Laney said it was not until 20 minutes after arriving at the blaze that she learned her two horses were still alive.
She said the animals that died were a pregnant mare and 2-year-old stallion.
Porter County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Larry LaFlower said anyone who is willing to temporarily foster a horse until the barn is rebuilt is asked to call Laney at (219) 252-9160.
Multiple fire departments aided in fighting the blaze. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Times Staff writer Elvia Malagon contributed to this report.