Cigarette likely cause of Equestrian Center tragedy

Two Honduran immigrant brothers perished in a fire at a Saugerties riding club when their cigarettes ignited their wood-frame bungalow on Wednesday night, Adam Bosch of the Times Herald-Record reports in today's paper.

While the police have released few details about the deaths, Bosch got a poignant portrait of the brothers from riders at the equestrian center:

The elder, a 30-year-old named Jose, had emigrated from Honduras and began working at the farm in July. He mucked stalls and fed horses with one purpose: to provide a better life for his family back in Central America.

Friends at the farm said Jose sent his paychecks home to support his sick mother, his wife and their two kids, ages 9 and 3.

Even more poignantly, Bosch writes, the only survivor of the fire is a heartbroken dog:

Jose's black-and-white herding dog was the only survivor. Bach said she found the dog lying in the barn Thursday morning, shivering. The dog paced back and forth across the fire scene, his head low, his tail still. Then he curled up on the charred front porch and let out a sigh. "That dog followed Jose absolutely everywhere," Bach said. "His name is Lucky."