Old Westbury Equestrian Center building that houses 27 horses condemned due to fire code violations
An equestrian center in Old Westbury was raided Monday after being ticketed for over two dozen fire code violations.
The Nassau County Fire Marshal's Office and the SPCA were at the Old Westbury Equestrian Center to condemn a building that houses 27 horses and four rented apartments inside.
Officials on the scene said the building was a fire trap.
"The sprinkler system is not operational, the fire alarm system is not operational, all the carbon monoxide detectors, all the lifesaving safety issues that we required to keep everybody safe are not operational," says Assistant Chief of the Nassau County Fire Marshal's Office James Hicksman.
The horses inside the buildings are show horses that compete around the country, including on Long Island at the Hamptons Classic.
Trainers who rent stables from the owners at the equestrian center pay up to $2,000 a month.
The fire marshal's office says the trainers have 24 hours to get their horses out of the facility because it's not safe.
"We've been lied to for months now, as it seems we're told that they only knew about this very recently, but it seems like it's been a problem for months," says horse trainer Kalyn Fogary.
The fire marshal's office says they have been giving the manager and owner of the equestrian center warnings and that at least 20 tickets have been issued since October urging them to get the sprinkler and alarm system fixed.
The SPCA says the facility was a disaster waiting to happen.
"Without that system in place, the horses would have burned to death, they would've been trapped in their stalls," says Nassau County SPCA Chief Matthew Roper.
The horse trainers tell News 12 that they are in the process of finding stables across Long Island to house their horses.
The owner of the facility could face thousands of dollars in fines.