A barn fire is a terrible tragedy for any horse owner. The Martin family of Oconne County, Georgia, experienced this nightmare when they woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of their barn burning down. The fire trapped 14 of their Clydesdales, including a three-week-old colt and a pregnant mare, inside the locked building as the power was out.
Sadly, it would have all died if wasn’t Macon Martin – the family’s heroic 16-year-old boy!
“It shook the whole house,” said Macon’s mother, Shannon Martin, who owns the farm with her husband, Mark. “One minute I am in bed; the next minute I am standing up next to the bed trying to figure out what happened.”
In the darkness caused by the power outage, the family witnessed their horse barn rapidly consumed by flames. With the barn doors locked and no time to search for the key, one family member jumped into their Gator tractor and used it to break down the door. They called for their mother to help and together they managed to open the ends of the stalls and release the horses. Despite losing the barn, they were able to save all of their beloved Clydesdales.
Family is praising quick thinking 16 y.o. aftr lightning strikes Oconee Co barn. All 50 Clydesdales rescued @fox5atl pic.twitter.com/x4uTAZjhVA
— Portia Bruner (@PortiaFOX5) February 24, 2016
“I just ran right out. I had no clothes on, no shoes, no nothing,” Macon, who jumped into a tractor and drove straight through the barn wall, told local NBC affiliate WKYC Channel 3 News. “I just jumped in our Gator and I just ran it right into the door.”
As it turned out, the devastating fire was caused by a lightning bolt. But thanks to Macon’s heroism and quick-thinking, all the horse were saved, including the three weeks old foal.
“He busted through like Rambo and opened up the end of the stalls and said, ‘Mom, this way,’” said Shannon. “And we were able to push the horses out that way…“It will take some time to rebuild. This was a dream. We saved and built it brick by brick. We’ll have to start over.”