PHOENIX (KSAZ) - "I'm coming in, I'm leaning in, I grabbed the holsters, I started grabbing the horse one at at time," Zachary Moore said.
Moore knew he was working on borrowed time.
"I got all the way down to there, got all these horses out... I didn't want to see a horse pass away," he said.
He worked as quickly as he could, freeing eight horses.
"I had to go put the holster on them and pull them out of the stall and follow them out," he said. "They didn't event know where they were going. It was so smokey."
The 21-year-old is a groom at Turf Paradise. He spotted a fire in the tact room of a barn at around 2 a.m. on Wednesday and sprang into action, saving horses while security tried to put the fire out.
"I was pretty scared, but at that point I was just more concerned about their lives than mine," he said.
"Our barns, we have 83 of them, they're built of cinder block and they have metal roofs, so when a fire breaks out like one did earlier this morning, it was confined to the room," Vince Francia said. "It has no place to spread."
Francia, who's general manager at Turf Paradise, says it was the smoke that caused the worst threat, and that's why veterinarian Reid Zimmer was called out.
He said all the affected horses are OK.
"The biggest problem is not seeing what is going on inside of them, so we give them antibiotics just to make sure they don't get pneumonia or something like that," he said.
"I feel a lot better about myself," Moore said. "I'm just glad that everybody got to keep their horses.
Moore's coworkers at the track are hailing him as a hero, but the young man from Wichita, Kansas, who just moved to Arizona a month ago, says he would do anything for the animals, including risking his own life.