By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
The northbound lane of U.S. 25, near Matthews Furniture, was shut down for three hours Monday as firefighters from three departments fought a house fire.
Volunteers from the Campground, Lily and West Knox Fire Department worked diligently against the wind, cold, and snow that fell throughout Monday to extinguish the blaze that collapsed the roof of the framed two-story home.
The fire was reported around 11:30 a.m. after two motorists saw flames coming from the rear of the home as they traveled between London and Corbin.
Woody Asher and Shawn Henderson said they saw some people standing outside the house and then saw smoke coming from the rear of the residence.
Henderson said the neighbors did not know the name of the man who lived in the home but said he drove a blue car, which was not at the home at the time.
“They said there was an elderly man living in the house and his bedroom was upstairs,” Asher said. “We asked if anyone was home and they said they didn’t know.”
“I kicked the door in and he (Asher) called 9-1-1 at the same time. We made it to the living room,” Henderson said. “We kept yelling to see if we could get anyone to answer, but no one did. There was a lot of smoke and we tried to get down and crawl under it but it overcame us and we had to get out.
“You never know if there are kids in a house or not. I would never go on by without trying to see if someone was inside or not.”
Although firefighters did not find anyone inside the home, they did encounter difficulties putting the flames out.
“They’re fighting the wind right now,” said one firefighter, as flames continued to blaze from under the eaves of the house.
Due to the home’s close proximity to the road, fire trucks and sheriff’s vehicles blocked the northbound lane of the roadway as firefighters attempted to bring the blaze under control. The roadway was blocked for approximately three hours and was re-opened around 2:30 p.m.
The resident of the home was not identified, but firefighters were called back to the scene just before 5 p.m. when the fire rekindled a second time.