OWENWS-01-19-21 FIRE

An Owensboro city firefighter tapes off the side of an apartment complex building that was damaged by an early morning fire on Monday at Keystone Apartments at 1101 Burlew Blvd.

An overnight fire in a Burlew Boulevard Apartment complex damaged several units and caused many others to be evacuated.

The fire was reported shortly before 3:30 a.m. Monday at Keystone Apartments, 1101 Burlew Blvd.

Battalion Chief Steve Leonard of the Owensboro Fire Department said the fire is believed to have started in a ground floor apartment and spread upward.

People were able to evacuate the complex.

“We’re very fortunate to not have fatalities” given that people were asleep at the time the fire broke out, Leonard said. “Everyone was accounted for.”

Several pets were lost in the fire.

When firefighters arrived, the fire was extending into apartments on the second floor. Four units sustained direct fire damage, while other units were impacted by water and smoke, Leonard said.

The fire was a multi-alarm fire, bringing in several units. Leonard said firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze and were on the scene until 8 a.m. One firefighter suffered a shoulder injury while fighting the fire, he said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The occupants of the complex will be interviewed to see if they can provide clues about possible causes.

“We don’t suspect foul play,” Leonard said. When asked about smoke detectors, he said, some people reported hearing smoke alarms, while others did not.

Several people were displaced from their homes. The American Red Cross was called to assist people displaced by the fire.

Linda Porter, disaster program manager for the Red Cross’ Western Kentucky chapter, said the agency is currently working with residents of 13 apartments affected by the fire, with the possibility of residents of a 14th unit needing assistance as well.

The agency will help displaced residents with housing and other needs while working with other service agencies, Porter said.

“It was great coordination with the Owensboro Police Department, Owensboro Fire Department and AMR,” Porter said. Emergency responders “helped identify the clients and led (case workers) to the clients,” Porter said.

James Mayse, 270-691-7303, jmayse@messenger-inquirer.com, Twitter: @JamesMayse

James Mayse, 270-691-7303, jmayse@messenger-inquirer.com, Twitter: @JamesMayse

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