Barn Burns Down at North Mesa Stables Overnight

Lisa and Garth Reader’s barn at the North Mesa Stables as it burned late Tuesday night. Photo by Dee McCoy
 
The aftermath of the barn that burned down overnight at the North Mesa Stables. Photo by Leland Lehman/ladailypost.com
 
By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post

A large barn burned to the ground Tuesday night at the North Mesa Stables. The blaze killed one of five horses housed at the barn owned by longtime Los Alamos residents Lisa and Garth Reader. 

“We’ve had Sparky (Sparkling Moonshine) for nearly 20 years,” Lisa Reader told the Los Alamos Daily Post this morning. “She was an incredible horse who we took to championships and we recently started back up our therapeutic riding program with her because she was so good.”

Sparky was a Registered Appendix Quarter Horse that helped many children through the years enrolled in Reader’s therapeutic riding program.

Reader described how she and her husband learned that their barn was on fire Tuesday night.

“We just got back at about 8:30 p.m. from a trip to Detroit where we picked up a wheelchair for our daughter,” she said. “We live by the golf course and could hear the sirens on Diamond around 11 p.m. … a few minutes later our phone rang. When we got there someone had taken two of our horses out and the other two were far enough away to be safe but we lost Sparky.”

Deputy Fire Chief Justin Grider said that Fire Marshal Brian Nickerson is on his way back to the scene this morning to continue the investigation into the cause of the fire, adding that he will share the findings as soon as they are determined.

Grider commended his firefighters and stable owners and expressed his condolences on behalf of the department to the Readers on their loss.

“The fire crews on scene last night did a fantastic job keeping the fire to the original structure and from spreading throughout the stables – that didn’t come without a lot of hard work,” Grider said. “We had help from other stable owners, which was much appreciated. Lisa has been very instrumental in the community with her therapy horse riding program and this is such a sad loss not only for her but for the entire community and for the kids. Our thoughts are with her and her family during this tragic time.”

Community members have begun contacting the Los Alamos Daily Post to ask how they can donate money to help rebuild the barn or buy hay for the Reader’s other horses.

“Lisa has been in this community for a long time. She is always there to help people in various ways from having kindergartners at her barn for a farm day to organizing rides for kids at the Little Forest Preschool and other organizations in town,” a reader said in an email. “She is an active and amazing person in our community and I think people would want to know and help her at this time with her loss.”

Lisa Reader explained that she appreciates people wanting to help but doesn’t know yet how much help she might need.

“It’s fine if people want to donate,” she said. “We will wait to see how much our insurance will cover and if it turns out that we don’t need the money, then we will donate it to the animal shelter.”

Barn owner Lisa Reader, second from left, with friends this morning speaks with Fire Marshal Brian Nickerson at the scene of her burned out barn at the North Mesa Stables. Photo by Leland Lehman/ladailypost.com

Scenes from the aftermath of the barn that burned down overnight at the North Mesa Stables. Photo by Leland Lehman/ladailypost.com

Scenes from the aftermath of the barn that burned down overnight at the North Mesa Stables. Photo by Leland Lehman/ladailypost.com

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