Fire damages home in Okolona neighborhood


by Johnny Archer

Posted on February 3, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Updated Sunday, Feb 3 at 8:52 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – An Okolona family is safe after firefighters responded to a fire in the 9900 block of River Trail Drive Sunday afternoon.

“When we arrived there was heavy fire showing in the garage area of the home,” said Chief Rich Carlson with the Okolona Fire Department.

The fire happened in the same neighborhood where a home exploded because of a gas leak more than a year ago.

“My teenage daughter ran out and said, 'Daddy the house is on fire,” next door neighbor James Coffee said. “When I came out I saw fire coming out the garage.”

Coffee lives only several feet away from where the home went up in flames. His house was untouched. But his neighbor's home was seriously damaged.

Firefighters believe the fire started in the garage and originating from a barbecue smoker that somehow ignited a gasoline powered lawnmower.

The Okolona Fire Department had help from the Highview Fire Department in the freezing February weather.

“It is cold and it slows you down and you get a little bit uncomfortable and you get soaking wet,” Chief Carlson said. “That can make hypothermia set in a little faster. You have to watch everybody and make sure they are not showing signs of that.”

LG&E crews shut off the electric to the house. The home is in the same neighborhood where a house exploded because of a gas leak more than a year ago.

“This is coincidental to the natural gas explosion that happened about a year and a couple of month ago,” Carlson said.

There was a husband and wife who got out of the house safely when the fire erupted. The fire chief says there were also two pets inside that are also believed to be safe.

Most of the fire was contained in the garage area, while the rest of the house received smoke damage.

No firefighters were injured while containing the fire.