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Update: Bailey fire investigation and memorial

by Joe Arnold


Posted on January 11, 2010 at 2:14 AM

The memorial service for Cathy and Irv Bailey's two grandsons was Saturday in the boys' native Vermont.  Solan and Liam Bailey were killed in a Christmas morning fire that destroyed the elder Baileys' Glenview home in eastern Jefferson County. 

The Times Argus newspaper provides a moving narrative of the service, attended by nearly 800 people.

"We love the boys. We want them back. This sucks," Chris Bailey said matter-of-factly, explaining that those were the thoughts that popped into his head when he was first confronted with the daunting prospect of speaking at his sons' memorial service.

After consulting with his wife, Bailey said, he decided to run with it.

"We knew that Solon and Liam would appreciate the brevity and the near-profanity," he said, displaying a touch of the sense of humor that both boys were said to have inherited.


I spoke to Metro Arson Major Henry Ott over the weekend who said the cause of the fire has not been determined, however investigators have narrowed their focus to the dining room area, including the attic space over the dining room and also near a fireplace.  A furnace unit and coil that had been in the attic has been secured.  Ott added that the painstaking investigation is also complicated by the coordination of possible litigants in the fire aftermath.  Representatives of several insurance companies want to witness the excavation of the fire scene.

Meanwhile, as WHAS11's Melanie Kahn reported on Saturday, the firehouse closest to the Bailey home was not staffed when the fire broke out, which meant it took Harrod's Creek firefighters about twice as long to reach the fire than it would have if the closer firehouse had been staffed.

This fire house is not a 24 hour facility, so no one was here when this fire broke out.

At 4:00 a.m. on Christmas Day, firefighters responded from station 1, 10 minutes away.

"It actually took them approximately 10 minutes from the time they got called to arrive at the scene.  You could take away maybe five minutes if we had someone stationed.  Now would that have made a difference?  Maybe, maybe not," said Major Kevin Tyler of Harrod's Creek Fire.

Nevertheless, Major Tyler says, he would like to see fire station 2 become an around the clock facility and is working hard to make that happen.

"We actually have a plan that we're putting together.  It could take approximately three to five years depending on the dollars that we are trying to get."

Tyler said, "It's all about the dollars.  With the state of the economy and the way things are now, it's hard to get tax money it's hard to raise tax dollars and it's hard to get more money."

It will cost anywhere from $2-3 million to convert this fire house into a 24 hour station and  the money would have to come from taxes.
So while Tyler says he's optimistic about the future, he also says he can't make any promises.