Stable fire likely electrical

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By Tris DeRoma

When a stable fire claimed one of Garth and Lisa Reader’s horses and consumed all the buildings on their North Mesa lot Tuesday night, fellow stable owners wasted no time rallying around their neighbor.

Reader was happy to report that cleanup has been completed and some of her equipment has been replaced, thanks to her neighbors.

She also said her other horses, which include two of her own and two of her boarders, have made it through the fire without any problems.

“We were worried about smoke inhalation but so far, no one’s showed any signs of having any problems,” she said, adding that her neighbors have taken them in. That means the remaining horses, “Dylan,” “Lola,” “Mattie” and “Strawberry” will be able to remain on the North Mesa until her stables are rebuilt.

A fund has also been started at LANB to cover what insurance could not, mainly the buildings that were on the lot. Donations can be made at Los Alamos National Bank to the “Lisa Reader Rebuild Fund.” If you would like to do so electronically, you can call LANB at 662-5171 for the account and routing number. Reader also noted that if she has no need for the funds or if they have any left over, they will be donating to a charity.

One of those helping her out in the effort is friend and retired Los Alamos Police Chief Wayne Torpy, who hopes one day to help her rebuild her barn. He noted that Reader has done a lot for the community, organizing fundraisers for disaster victims in Colorado as well as helping out right here at home. The horse that perished in the fire, “Sparkling Moonshine,” was a therapy horse that the Readers used to help disabled children.

“I’m going to do whatever I can with my time to help her get put it back together again,” Torpy said. “She’s a really good person who’s has a great heart. She’s done a lot of good things for the community, especially the horsing community.”

As for the cause of the fire, Deputy Chief Justin Grider said it appears to be electrical, though they have not pinned down a specific source.

“Right now, it could mean it was at the outlet, or with one of the appliances that were plugged in,” he said. “All that’s known now is that it was definitely electrical.” However, due to the recent flooding in the area, Grider said he wouldn’t be surprised if that had something to do with it. He urged all stable owners to check their wiring to make sure it hasn’t been affected by the recent floods.

“It’s very possible they had shorts as a result of the flooding, had issues with something they didn’t even know they had issues with.”