ELLSWORTH, Ill. (WMBD) — A barn fire in Ellsworth killed 12 horses on Saturday, Feb. 5, around 10:30 p.m.

Christopher Moody, the owner of the barn, said he got a knock on their door from a neighbor telling them his barn was on fire. After running out of the house, he noticed the center of the barn engulfed in flames.

“We both ran to the end of the barn to try to get the door open and get the horses out,” he said, “but we weren’t able to. We lost them all.”

He clarified that one horse in the arena area of the barn did survive the fire.

Multiple championship horses were trapped in the barn. He said they would show some of the horses at Illinois Paint Horse Association shows, among others.

Moody said he and his wife Kristy Doyle had been breeding horses for the past 20 years, and now, all that work is gone. He also explained the horses are an extension of his and his wife’s family.

Multiple volunteer fire departments showed up to extinguish the fire. “There was, at one point, a dozen firetrucks on the road, just waiting to bring water in. It was amazing,” said Moody.

He said Ellsworth, Leroy, and Downs Fire Departments were among the facilities that helped put the fire out.

A family friend of the Moody/Doyle family made a GoFundMe which has already raised more than $12,000. To donate, click here.