Firefighters investigate cause of Garden Gate apartments fire


by Brooke Hasch

Posted on July 10, 2014 at 4:06 AM

Updated Thursday, Jul 10 at 2:56 PM

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Firefighters continue to investigate what caused an early morning fire at the Garden Gate apartment complex, on Duane Point Circle, just after 3 a.m. Thursday.

The fire destroyed two units and damaged six others. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured.

"I could see around the door frame that there was bright light that looked like there was fire outside the door, so I was able to go out the back," Paul Ross, a resident, said.

It was an easy escape for Ross as the heaviest smoke and flames began to spread throughout the floor above him. Nick Wells was asleep on the second floor when he awoke to his dog barking, warning him of the fire that was about to take over his home.

"I looked through the peephole and everything was just engulfed in flames," Wells said.

When the front door was no longer an option, Wells and his girlfriend ran to the balcony.

"We started hearing crackling and we looked up and the ceiling started to fall down on top of us," Wells said.

On the phone with 911 dispatch, the couple realized they were running out of time.

"I jumped over the railing and landed in the bush," Wells said.

With cuts and scratches, Wells caught his dog and helped as best he could when his girlfriend made the jump. She walked away with a sprained ankle.

Middletown, Anchorage and McMahan fire departments responded to the blaze, finding two apartments engulfed.

Officials said they began in defensive mode due to the extent of the fire, and later, were able to sweep the building to make sure no one else was inside.

"It's always a difficult fire to fight," Andy Longstreet, the assistant fire chief for Middletown, said.

Once contained, some residents spent hours waiting for a chance at a few seconds inside, hoping to find anything they could salvage.

An arson investigator also spent the morning on scene, protocol for this type of fire. Cleaning crews arrived shortly after to begin restoration of the homes that could be salvaged.

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