House fire destroys Glenview home, kills 2 children


by Melanie Kahn

Posted on December 25, 2009 at 10:09 PM

Updated Saturday, Dec 26 at 6:54 PM

(WHAS11)  An early Christmas morning fire has left two children dead and a family grieving.

It happened at 4:00 a.m. Friday morning in the 6100 block of Longview Lane in eastern Jefferson County.

It’s tough for something like this to happen on any day of the year, but people who were on the scene Friday said the fact that it is Christmas day, makes it that much harder.

It took firefighters hours to get the fire under control, but their work is far from over.

It’s the worst fire, Robert Shofner, a long-time American Red Cross volunteer said he’s ever seen.  “This is bad, real bad.  I’ve seen other disasters, but not a fire like this.”

Firefighters said the fire quickly engulfed the home, owned by Cathy Bailey, a well-known Republican and Louisville philanthropist.

Chief Henry Ott, Metro Arson Squad said, “It started in the opposite end of the house away from everybody, so even as the alarm started sounding, the sheer size of the house and the fact that everybody was in the opposite end, allowed the fire to get a good start.”

Seven people were inside the home at the time; 2 children did not make it out alive.

Ott said this tragedy has hit everyone hard, including his arson team. 

“A lot of these people have teenagers.  So it really hits home when you have kids that are similar in age to the victims.  It is catastrophic.  We’ve had a real bad year this year with fire deaths. This will make the 20th fire death in Jefferson County this year.  And obviously it’s never been like that before.  It’s just as tragic as all the other ones; the two here, on Christmas Day.  It’s just a tragedy for everybody.”

The coroner is expected to release the cause of death of the two children sometime Saturday.