Firefighters explain slow response to Christmas Day fire


Posted on January 10, 2010 at 6:03 PM

Updated Sunday, Jan 10 at 6:46 PM

It's been just over two weeks since two boys died in a tragic Christmas Day house fire in eastern Jefferson County.

As thousands gathered for their funeral in their Vermont hometown, we’re taking a look at how long it took firefighters to respond to the devastating blaze.

"It's a humbling experience for a school to come back after a holiday and see that two of our students simply are not there and will not be there," said Timothy Crowley, Spaulding High School Principal:

But that's exactly what school principal, Timothy Crowley says his students faced when Solan and Liam Bailey did not return from their Christmas break.  Both died in a house fire in Louisville on Christmas Day.

In Vermont, more than 1000 people, many brought in buses, attended the funeral for the boys.

"The school this past week has been pretty quiet," said Crowley.
The community continues to cope with this terrible loss.

At Harrod's Creek Fire Station 2, the fire house closest to the Glenview home that went in up flames, life is continuing as normal with the fire house staffed 7 days a week, 12 hours a day.

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.

"One day it will happen.  I can't tell you it's going to happen 6 months from now or a year from now, two years from now, but hopefully in the near future we'll have the money to build that station and staff it 24 hours a day," said Tyler.

Investigators have not determined an official cause for the blaze but say they think it started near the dining room.