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A column of black smoke visible from the U.S. 321 intersection with N.C. 10 revealed burning destruction to motorists several miles from Stone Gate Stables in Vale.
Not far from the $1.3 million estate on Malcolm Road, neighbor Allen Biggerstaff knew something was amiss when he heard fire sirens roaring down the private road secluded from N.C. 10.
"It was a Cadillac of a barn," he said as he watch a fire engulf the horse stables Monday morning. "It was a beautiful barn."
More than 60 firefighters from nearly a dozen responded to the fire just after 9:45 a.m., according to Propst Cross Roads Fire Department Capt. Brian Leonhardt.
"Basically when we got here, fire was through the roof and the ceiling was falling in," he said. "It was a total defensive fire, and we did not send anyone in for safety reasons."
To read more of this story, pick up the weekend print edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.