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All horses found after Payne County fires


STILLWATER, Okla. — Residents in Payne County are still putting out hot spots and fighting scorching heat.

When you drive just northeast of Stillwater you can smell the burnt land and structures.

In many places it is still smoldering as families scrape up what the fire melted and left behind.

“When you have something like this happen you just keep going,” David Robinson said. “I was going to get those horses out one way or the other.”

And, he did with flames circling in from all directions.

“You don’t even think about being scared you just do what you’ve got to do,” he said.

If that means risking your life to corral up your horses or fend off flames with a garden hose, Robinson didn’t think twice about it.

“I started pulling animals out of the round barn and getting hoses out,” he said. 

“That wind it came this way and that way and it was all around us,” Betsy Bramwell said. “It jumped from here over to the house. Missed the barn and 10 minutes later change direction.”

“Then I could see there was a fire on the backside of the house and I couldn’t get any water to it,” Robinson said.

Moments later, flames beat him to it, overpowering any splash of water he could throw and overtaking the house.

It brought down walls and 40 year of memories with it.

“Everything she had was in that house,” Bramwell said.

Bramwell’s 80-year-old mother lived there.

She wasn’t home at the time but Bramwell is still fighting small flare ups to protect what the fire didn’t take.

“We’re trying to put out the last of the hot spots,” she said. “The smoldering hay was choking us and the horses too.”

But despite the flare ups they’re still battling and the losses they’re still coming to grips with, they manage to smile and be thankful they’ve still got what matters most.

“None of the animals got hurt. None of us got hurt. Everything else can be replaced,” Robinson said.

The family lost a couple of calves, but all 44 horses are accounted for.

In addition to the house, the fire also destroyed stalls, equipment and fencing.