21 homeless after Wednesday fire

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“We couldn’t throw water on it because we were afraid of getting shocked”

By Becky Barnes

An early Wednesday morning fire has left 21 people homeless.

Just after 5 a.m., Cynthiana 911 received a call from inside the home that the house at 107 Locust St. was on fire.

Assistant Chief Charles Carson said he immediately sounded the second alarm for all off-duty firefighters when he saw the fire. He said from the front all that was visible was the smoke. However, when he went to the back of the home, he could see the fire.

“I knew it was more than five of us could handle,” he said.

Sgt. Eric Kendall and Ptl. Brian Hassall were on the scene evacuating residents from the two to three apartments of the home, Carson said.

“They did a tremendous job getting people out and keeping them out,” he said.

Carson said because the fire was electrical, with explosions like that of a blown transformer, the rain hampered immediate action.

“We couldn’t throw water on it because we were afraid of getting shocked,” Carson said, noting that Kentucky Utilities was called to cut the power.

He said he is trying to find temporary housing for the four children and remaining adults.

“They can’t stay there,” Carson said, explaining that the second story is heavily damaged. The downstairs is not too bad, he said, but not livable.

“It’s going to take a lot to fix it,” Carson said.

He said the women and children can be housed by the Salvation Army in Lexington if they can get there and the men can possibly go to the Hope Center.

The Locust Street property, which is insured, is owned by Earl Bills, who firefighters had not been able to reach as of presstime.