Authorities ruled Monday afternoon that a fire that destroyed the former Union County sale barn, as well as Adderholt’s Stockyard Café and also killed 14 horses, was set accidentally.
“We came to the conclusion yesterday that it was an accidental fire,” New Albany Fire Chief Jeff Hale said Tuesday. “We believe it was caused by bad wiring.”
Hale said that he and a deputy state fire marshall believed the fire’s point of origin was in the cafe’s kitchen.
Hale said that the New Albany fire department responded to the fire call at 8:30 p.m. Sunday night.
“We arrived and it was fully involved at that time,” Hale said. “We finally got it under control at around 11:30 p.m. and finally had it extinguished at around 1 a.m.”
The horses, which belonged to horse trader Blake Thompson, were trapped inside the building, Hale said.
“We had to get a backhoe to come in and remove part of the tin roof,” Hale said. “We also had to be careful with the steel I-beams. Because of the heat, they could have shifted and come down at any time.”
Besides the 14 horses that died, several others suffered burns and smoke inhalation, Hale said.
Thompson had leased the building from its current owner, J.D. Moreland, to store his horses until he could finish a facility in Ingomar.
Steve Adderholt, owner of the cafe, said that he would meet with employees and other advisors to discuss options for relocating the restaurant. It had been open at that location seven days a week for several years.