Fire Burns Tornado-Damaged Block in Western Kentucky

April 3, 2012

Authorities in western Kentucky say a fire that destroyed four buildings in Bardwell has raised their suspicion.

The buildings had been abandoned after being damaged by a tornado a year ago, and utilities to the buildings had been shut off.

According to The Paducah Sun, Mayor Philip King said the blaze Saturday night began in one of the middle structures around 9:15 p.m. and quickly spread through four buildings, all built in the late 19th century. The cause remained undetermined Sunday, but the state fire marshal’s office was investigating, along with local authorities.

“It is suspicious, as there were no utilities in the buildings, but we don’t want to make any assumptions just yet,” Assistant Fire Chief Ronnie Canary said.

There were no injuries in the fire that required about 80 firefighters and at least eight fire departments to contain.

Several adjacent buildings in the downtown block of Front Street were also damaged.

The blaze was mostly extinguished by early Sunday, but the buildings collapsed creating hot spots. Firefighters were expected to remain at the site through the fire marshal’s investigation Monday to make sure the rubble doesn’t reignite.

The row of buildings had been scheduled for demolition.

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