Evacuation lifted for residents, but dozens of horses still unable to return home

Heavy smoke causes concern for horses
Posted at 12:41 AM, Mar 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-09 10:54:21-05

NAPLES, Fla. -- While residents were able to return to their homes Wednesday, dozens of horses forced to evacuate were still being boarded at nearby stables. 

Small flames continued to smolder Wednesday within what was once an evacuation zone, as some walked through their smoke to return home for the first time in over 24 hours, however not even who was forced to evacuate was able to make it home. 

"Smoke inhalation is our main concern," said Michelle Foltz Bock. 

Foltz Bock trains horses at M & H Stables in Naples. 25-year-old horse Jake along with his friend, a miniature pony named Buddy were the last two horses evacuated from the stable Tuesday. 

"Literally it burned all around us," said Foltz Bock."It burned pretty much our perimeter fence; there’s 20 acres for the farm. It even burned around our garbage cans,” she added. 

The unforgiving flames downed powers lines in the area and rendered parts of the fence around the property useless.

Foltz Bock says she and her family tried dousing the flames near the stable themselves. “The power went out at like 2 in the afternoon. So we’d run to the lake fill up the buckets, put it in the little Kubota and put four or five buckets on it,” said Foltz Bock. 

In total 38 horses were removed from the stable. Jake and Buddy, who stayed behind, were able to find temporary homes thanks to a good Samaritan. 

“The minute I heard, I mean, I just dropped everything and I was like 'I’m on my way!' I’ve got a two-horse trailer; I can only do two at a time, but you know what, I’m down!,” said Tracy Neville.