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Multiple alarm warehouse fire with explosions

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

CAMPBELLSVILLE, KY - At approxiamtely 5:19 a.m. on June 9, 2009 Campbellsville - Taylor County E-911 recieved multiple calls reporting an explosion and fire at the former Fruit of the Loom factory in Campbellsville, KY. Full alarms were dispatched for Campbellsville Fire Department and Campbellsville - Taylor County Rescue Squad.

At 5:24 a.m. Campbellsville Fire Department Unit 1, Chief Allen Johnson, along with CFD Engine 53 were the first units on the scene and immediately requested a second alarm. First units found a large warehouse, approximately 150 feet by 50 feet heavily involved, and reported hearing explosions from the building with objects being ejected several hundred feet.

On the second alarm the Taylor County Volunteer Fire Department responded two engines, Engine 63 and Engine 62. By this time CFD Engine 50 and Engine 56 were also on scene. Engine 50 was staged at the only operating hydrant near the building. All yard hydrants had been disconnected for some time due to the building being non-operational for approximately ten years, however recently two local industries, Clarcor and, were using the warehouse portions to store materials in. Clarcor's materials,which consisted of air filter manufacturing materials, were stored in the fire portion of the warehouse. Also the buildings sprinkler system was not in operation.

Due to the water supply issue, at 5:44 a.m. a third alarm was dispatched requesting mutual aid from Greensburg - Green County Fire Rescue for a tanker and manpower. This brought Greensburg Engine 96 and Green County Tanker 1 along with several personnel from Greensburg - Green County, Grab, and Summersville fire departments. Soon after the dispatch of the third alarm on scene units advised that the structure had started to collapse.

After the building started to collapse, at 6:09 a.m. a fourth alarm was issued for mutual aid from Columbia -Adair County Fire Department for an aerial platform and tanker. Columbia -Adair County responded with Columbia Ladder 1 and a tanker from Adair County Fire along with personnel. Columbia is currently the closest aerial truck to Campbellsville, who has a 95ft platform due for delivery from Pierce Manufacturing in late August. After it arrived, Columbia ladder 1 was set up on the bravo side of structure and was connected to the only hydrant.

At 8:09 a.m. command requested an additional alarm for mutual aid from Lebanon Fire Department to respond to Campbellsville Fire Departments station to cover any other runs that may occur. This brought in an engine and personnel from Raywick Volunteer Fire, and personnel from Lebanon and Marion County Fire departments.

After approximately four hours command advised that the fire was under control. All crews remained on scene until 3:18 p.m.. In total fifty-five firefighters from eight fire departments, with ten apparatus responded to the blaze.

Also a local day care was closed due to the close proximity to the warehouse, and the number of explosions that were occurring. The explosions were discovered to be propane cylinders used to power the forklifts used by Clarcor.

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ADAM DOBSONCorrespondent

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