A burial service has been held for the dozens of racehorses killed in a fire that tore through a barn at Tioga Downs in Nichols.

State police investigators said Thursday morning's blaze in a horse stable was a case of arson.

According to a Tioga Downs news release, 30 horses died in the fire. A private burial for the horses was held in what was described as a simple service.

The horses were buried together adjacent to where the barn had stood. The racetrack's statement said the burial was done "with approval from authorities."

State police arrested 32-year-old Boyd Fenton of Athens shortly after the fire was reported. He faces felony charges of arson, burglary, criminal mischief and assault.

68-year-old Edgar Clarke sustained second-degree burns on his face after he used a fire extinguisher to try to knock down the flames. Six of Clarke's horses were killed in the blaze.

Tioga Downs has announced the racetrack is working to establish a dedicated memorial to the horses lost in the fire. The memorial "will stand as a lasting tribute to their impact on the harness racing community."

Tioga Downs owner Jeff Gural was featured on Sunday's CBS News program 60 Minutes segment commenting on efforts to clean up doping in the horse racing industry.

The story highlighted a federal investigation that resulted in the conviction of 29 veterinarians, horse trainers and drug distributors.

Gural was interviewed on his efforts to insure the integrity of the business. Tioga Downs noted online that the segment was not part of a live broadcast and Gural had been interviewed earlier.

The 60 Minutes broadcast made no mention of Thursday's deadly fire at Tioga Downs.

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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