THREE horses worth £32,000 were killed in a barn fire this morning.

The Irish breed valued at £12,000, a Warmblood valued at £10,000 and a Kalamore valued at £10,000 all died after firefighters tried to save them from the blaze in Hailsham at 2am, police said. 

About £45,000 of equestrian equipment was also destroyed and items of sentimental value belonging to the owner in the barn at Robin Post Lane.

Police are investigating the cause of the fire.

A spokesman said: “The owners of the property were awoken by a young man who knocked on their front door and stated that the stable block was on fire.

“But unfortunately, by the time firefighters arrived, the building was alight and the three horses were unable to be saved.

“An electricity company was in attendance and the scene was made safe in the early hours of the morning.”

Detective Inspector Neil Ralph said: "I'd like to reassure members of the public that this is a one-off, isolated incident, and there has been nothing similar over the past few weeks.

"We are working to find out whether or not the circumstances are suspicious and we'd encourage anyone with any information to email Sussex Police on or call 101 quoting serial 75 of 01/12.

"We'd also like to speak to the young male who alerted the family to the fire."

Police later said fire investigators later concluded it was accidental and not being treated as suspicious.