December 28, 2012

Christmas Eve fire destroys home on Morentown Road

Resident lost everything, presents

By Magen McCrarey
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — A Christmas Eve fire destroyed a home at 507 Morentown Road Monday. Two adults inside the residence safely escaped with no injuries.

According to Assistant Chief Les Leatherman of the Laurel County Volunteer Fire Department, the double-wide trailer caught on fire while resident Chris Smith was sleeping.  The fire allegedly began at approximately 2 a.m. within the utility room where a water heater, washer and dryer were located.  

“I was awoken by the fire alarm’s beeping,” he said. “The whole back side of the house was covered in smoke.”

He, and a second person in the residence, Shawn Smith, escaped unhurt.  The two men were treated by Ambulance Inc. of Laurel County for smoke inhalation.  

Leatherman stated the fire was put out by the Laurel County Fire Department and the London Fire Department at about 4 a.m. which took almost an hour, and then again at 6 a.m. when the fire re-ignited.  The fire took the manpower of more than 20 firefighters and many extra tanks of water.  

“All contents of the double-wide mobile home were completely destroyed,” Leatherman said.

“It was a mess,” Chris Smith said. “I lost everything I had — and Christmas presents.  It was a big shock to me.”

Smith was renting the home on contract to own.

He has a son who was not at the residence at the time of the fire.  The Southeastern Kentucky Chapter of the American Red Cross is providing shelter and assistance for the family at this time.

The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.  The fire department wishes to remind citizens to have a properly installed smoke detector.  Replace batteries in smoke detectors every fall and spring, and check frequently to make sure they are working properly.  

If you become victim to a house fire or natural disaster, contact Coy Prichard at the American Red Cross at 606-878-6333 for assistance.