Bowling Green Fire Department, 1898

Fire Flashback: House Fires Battled, March, 1993

From The Daily News
by Robin Minor

Bowling Green firefighters spent the early morning hours today battling two blazes and searching for the occupant of one house who was feared trapped inside but later turned up at a relative's house. Firefighters were called at 11:30 p.m. Sunday to a fire at 318 W. Main St. when neighbors saw flames shooting out of the windows. By the time firefighters arrived, the house was fully engulfed, according to Bowling Green Fire Department Capt. Edward Moss.

"The initial report we got was that hte occupant was still in the rear of the home," said Capt. Alva May, who also was on the scene, "After we got the fire in the rear under control, we spent 45 minutes searching for the occupant."

Before firefighters arrived, a neighbor was burned while entering the house in an attempt to rescue occupant Wayne Lemmons, who was thought to be home at the time. Lemmons was found later at a relatives home, he said. The neighbor was sent to the Medical Center for treatment. His name and condition were unknown to firefighters and police.

The heat from the fire was so intense that houses on both sides of the building were damaged, May said. The house, owned by Chris Blevins and Paul Mc Farland, was destroyed. Its value was estimated at $30,000.  A house at 314 Main St. sustained about $10,000 damage to its exterior and a house at 320 W. Main St. sustained about $2,000 damage according to reports.

"It is unknown where or how the fire started. We were waiting for daylight before we went back in and looked around," May said.

Eighteen firefighters and seven units were needed to control the intense blaze. A few firefighters remained on the scene until 6 a.m., but most reported back to the station about 3 a.m., just in time to get the call for a fire at 1106 Adams St., May said. Fifteen firefighters and six units were sent to the fire on Adams St.

"We had to send equipment from one fire to the other," Moss said.

The homes occupant, Denzil Ledbetter, was awakened by a smoke detector.

"He suffered from smoke inhalation but refused treatment," May said.

The fire apparantly started in the center of the basement ceiling. It is unknown what caused the fire, but the report noted that Ledbetter had been using paint in the hosue Sunday. It is estimated that about $15,000 in damage occurred to the house, which is owned by Junior Loafman. Firefighters spent two hours at the Adams St. fire.

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