Three-alarm fire occurred at privately-owned barns near Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in West Virginia

A three-alarm fire has destroyed several privately owned barns near the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races racetrack in West Virginia and killed some 27 racehorses.

About 26 horses escaped the Monday morning blaze, officials told The Journal of Martinsburg, W.Va.

Structural damage stemming from the fire was estimated initially at $1.2 million.

The value of the racehorses lost in the fire had not been determined at press time, but one official said horses such as those stabled at the track can range in price from several thousand dollars to more than $1 million each.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, according to a fire official.

“The barns were old lumber, straight lumber with no masonry,” he said. “Everything would burn. With the lumber and hay, it was a tremendous fire load that burned quickly.”