Vacant Kentucky Tobacco Warehouse Burns

May 25, 2007

A nearly century-old tobacco warehouse in Maysville, Ky., burned Tuesday night, creating a dramatic display that forced some evacuations and drew firefighters from a half-dozen fire departments.

The 200,000-square-foot complex was built in 1918 by R.J. Reynolds.

Fire companies fought the blaze at Parker Tobacco Warehouse for almost two hours, but it had been mostly extinguished by 11 p.m. EDT. Black smoke continued to escape from the building, which was severely damaged.

Residences on part of Center Street were evacuated, The Ledger Independent reported.

Maysville Fire Department and units from Orangeburg, Washington, Dover, Lewisburg, Ripley and Aberdeen worked to fight to fire.

Crowds gathered to watch flames shoot into the sky. Former Parker employees Jerry Ormes watched as the flames consumed the rear portion of the building.

“It’s just like memories are being burned up,” said Ormes, who worked at the warehouse for 28 years and was vice president of Parker Tobacco.

He said the warehouse once employed as many as 500 people from the area.

The warehouse had been vacant in recent years, Maysville Mayor David Cartmell said.

Information from: The Ledger Independent,

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