A burglary that went wrong appears to be behind a stable fire in Britain that claimed the lives of four horses.
The blaze broke out in the stable in Walkern, in east Hertfordshire, around 1.50am on Wednesday.
It is thought the fire began as the thieves were trying to force their way into a steel container next to the stables which contained a quad bike.
Police are appealing for witnesses.
Inspector Chris Hunt said: “This is a very distressing incident and we are currently working with the fire service to establish the exact cause of the fire. A full police investigation is also under way.
“Although the stables are in a remote location we are appealing to anyone who was in the area and saw anything suspicious to contact us immediately, or anyone who may have information which will help this investigation.”
Fire crews from Stevenage and Baldock attended the Benington Road premises, but the stable was well ablaze on their arrival.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or alternatively Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.