A five-alarm fire consumed a three-story
warehouse near downtown Louisville Friday night, the Louisville
Metro Fire Department said.
Louisville Metro Fire Department battles a fire in a three-story
By Brian Bohannon, AP
The fire began just before 7 p.m. ET, with parts of the
building having collapsed as the fire burned. Suburban fire
departments were called in to assist Louisville Fire &
Rescue later in the evening.
Louisville Metro Police said they were not evacuating homes
in the area, but advising residents to keep windows closed.
Police were also blocking streets around the warehouse.
About 145 firefighters fought the blaze, along with most
of Louisville Fire & Rescue's trucks and equipment.
Off-duty firefighters were called in, and volunteer firefighters
from suburban departments staffed many of the city's firehouses.
Louisville Fire Department Lt. Col. Cynthia Waldon said
15 engines and 10 trucks were on the scene about 9 p.m.
One firefighter was injured, having pulled a muscle while
swinging an axe, fire officials said.
Louisville Fire Capt. Ronel Brown said the owner of the
building, who he did not name, had been ordered to tear
down the building, but the order had been appealed. Brown
said the building's owner lives in California.
Brown said there have been problems with vagrants in the
building and the size of the fire created problems in putting
"It's just a large volume of fire in a large area,"
Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson said the building had been
vacant for about two years and subject to a battle over
the order to dismantle it.
Billows of black smoke, embers and a glow from the fire
could be seen around Louisville and smoke filled some of
the nearby neighborhoods. The fire could be seen around
Louisville, in parts of southern Indiana and the smoke was
showing up on weather radar.
Dwane Williams, a retired firefighter who lives near the
warehouse, said firefighters were probably battling fatigue
and concerns about having enough power to battle the blaze.
"You gotta make sure the hydrants maintain their water,"
Williams said. "It's a lot of hard work."
"I've never seen anything like this and I can't recall
another five-alarm fire," said Abramson, a Louisville
Louisville residents Roy Jackson and Amber Fiedler drove
across town after seeing an orange glow in the sky and seeing
the fire on the TV in their car.
"Not many people get to see a fire this big in their
life," Jackson said.
The cause of the fire was unknown.