Tossed cigarette ignites hay, destroys truck belonging to Temple horse rescue

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 7:53 PM CDT
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - A cigarette carelessly tossed out of a window of a passing semi truck caused a serious setback for a local nonprofit that rescues horses.

Allen Stewart, owner of the Peaceful Acres Horse Rescue in Temple, said he was on his way back with a load of hay when he was passed by a semi-truck on Highway 7 in between Chilton and Bruceville-Eddy.

“I watched it happen. It was like slow motion. I saw him flip the cigarette out. A few miles down the road, everything was on fire,” Stewart said.

Peaceful Acres provides a home for horses that otherwise would have been sent to slaughter. Stewart said this won’t deter them from their mission.

“My wife was talking about throwing in the towel. She was really upset. I said, ‘hey, this was your dream.’ We have to keep going. There’s a lot of horses out there that need rescue. Ten’s of thousands are slaughtered every year.”

A tossed cigarette ignited hay being hauled by the owner of a Temple, Texas horse rescue.
A tossed cigarette ignited hay being hauled by the owner of a Temple, Texas horse rescue.(KWTX)

The fire destroyed not only the hay but also the trailer it was on and the heavy duty pickup truck pulling it.

“It only had 39-thousand miles on it and it was almost paid off. Insurance will pay for the truck, but not the trailer. I don’t know what we’re going to do about the hay. We’re trying to build up our supplies for the winter. This is a bad time of year for this to happen,” Stewart said

The good news is Stewart and his wife managed to get out of the inferno, nearly unscathed.

“I tried to disconnect the trailer but the fire was burning too hot. I got a good sunburn from that but we’re ok.

If you’d like to help, you can visit the rescue’s Facebook page.

You can also send an email to

You can also call the following number at 254-563-0031.

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