Devastating: Two People, Forty-Three Horses Killed at Lebanon Raceway

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LEBANON, OH (CNN) -- Two men and dozens of horses died Saturday when a blaze engulfed a barn at an Ohio harness-racing track, a state fire official said.

The incident took place at the Lebanon Raceway near Cincinnati in southwestern Ohio. State Fire Marshal spokesman Shane Cartmill said autopsies will be conducted Sunday.

The ages and identities of the men are not yet known. Initially, officials reported 65 horses perished, but Cartmill later put the number at 43. Eight stalls in the barn caught fire.

Firefighters from 11 departments, which got the call just before 5 a.m. cleared debris and extinguished hot spots during the day. Investigators have not yet identified a cause of the fire.

The Warren County Fair Board -- which operates the track -- confirmed the deaths and the destruction of the barn, but couldn't say how many horses were destroyed. It said in a statement that harness racing scheduled for Saturday night has been canceled.

For more than 50 years, the fair board has been operating the county fair grounds, which includes "a harness racing track and supporting facilities that are leased for harness racing meets to two harness racing clubs," according to the statement issued by a fair board attorney, Bill Schroeder.

Schroeder said the fire was first noticed by a neighbor and that the barn, harness-racing carriages, and other racing equipment have been destroyed.

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