Henry Co. fire displaces several people, Red Cross called in


by Brooke Hasch


Posted on July 27, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Updated Sunday, Jul 27 at 8:19 PM

EMINENCE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Firefighters continue to investigate the cause of an apartment fire that destroyed two historic buildings along the 5000 block of Main Street in Eminence early Sunday morning.

Close to 70 firefighters from across Henry and Shelby Counties responded to the fire just after midnight Sunday. On duty police officers were the first to see the smoke and alerted the fire department.

Eminence Fire Chief Gary Lucas says residents inside managed to make it out okay. However, several firefighters were injured while on a ladder working the fire from the rear of the building.

"We did have a collapse and a flash-over and three firefighters got knocked off the ladder," Lucas said.

Lucas says their injuries included cuts, bruises and abrasions. The firefighters were treated by EMS on the scene.

"One of the problems we've encountered with these old buildings, they've had so many roofs that have been built over, built up. There's so many voids in there, so you have to go in one step at a time," Lucas said.

Lucas says these building will eventually have to come down due to safety concerns.

"We're still concerned with the collapse of the buildings," Lucas said.

Lucas says the fire started in rear of the red apartment building. He's thankful no one was home at the time, which leaves the cause of the fire a mystery. Lucas could not rule out if weather played a part.

Four other apartments in the neighboring blue building were also destroyed, as well as two businesses below, both under remodel.

"There's nothing salvageable. It's a total loss all the way around," Lucas said.

Red Cross volunteers were on hand to help the displaced families. Meanwhile, arson investigators were also on scene to help in the investigation, as is protocol for fires of this size.