It was initially believed that a Wednesday stable fire had claimed the lives of seven horses, but now that number has grown to 18.
The McHenry Township Fire Protection District worked to contain the fire at about 5 p.m. Wednesday at Black Tie Stable, 101 W. Bay Road in unincorporated McHenry.
Some people driving by stopped to help rescue the horses trapped inside the large stable before fire officials arrived on the scene.
The McHenry County Department of Health raised the number of horses killed to 18 after making calls to area stables offering to take in displaced horses in order to get an accurate count of the number of horses involved in the fire.
Helicopters could be heard and seen Wednesday night above Bay Road, shining bright lights in the search for the missing horses.
The McHenry Township Fire Protection District has still not determined the cause of the fire.
Black Tie Stables has been owned by trainer Richard Wright since 1979. According to the Black Tie Web site, Wright has been actively involved and employed in the Arabian Horse industry in the United States for over thirty 30 years. The stable offers training and show services.