BONSALL, Calif. (KGTV) -- A racehorse trainer badly burned trying to rescue horses Thursday has emerged from a coma, according to the Thoroughbred Daily News.
Martine Bellocq was taken to the UCSD Burn Unit after being overcome by flames while trying to save horses when the flames engulfed the San Luis Rey Training Center in Bonsall.
More than 450 horses were housed there, including six owned by Bellocq and her husband according to a family member.
Bellocq and her husband, Pierre, have trained racehorses for 40 years, Colin Hincks, her son-in-law, said
“Wonderful grandparents, have an immense love for animals and it’s a very sad day,” Hincks told 10News.
Thursday afternoon, the Bellocqs were some of the countless people frantically trying to get the horses out of their stalls so they would not burn to death.
“From what Pierre was telling me last night, it happened very quickly and it took off in a very scary way,” Hincks said
Martine and Pierre were in different areas of the downs trying to rescue horses, he said.
“In a very real sense, risked her life to save whatever animal she could,” Hincks said.
The couple owned six horses at San Luis Rey.
“Pierre was telling me part of the problem is the horses’ safe area is their stable," Hincks said. "That’s where they go to when they’re afraid. It’s a catastrophe, really."
The stables are filled with hay and wood chips, which are highly flammable.
“It’s like their children, really. Sadly, some of the horses Martine was trying to save didn’t make it,” Hincks said.
Martine was taken to the UCSD in Hillcrest by helicopter.
Three of the Bellocq’s horses died in the fire, as did more than 20 other horses at San Luis Rey.
Pierre was taken to the hospital and held overnight, but was released, Hincks said.
“Martine really need some prayers and thoughts at the moment,” Hincks said.
The Bellocqs will not only have very large medical bills, they also lost their livelihood, Hincks said.
Click here for the link to the GoFundMe set up for the San Luis Rey Downs fire relief effort.