Bowling Green Fire Department, 1898

Saratoga Fire, Feb., 1992 Article 2

From The Daily News
by Steve Chaplin
Feb. 10, 1992

As Ken Kinser stood Saturday in front of his used tire business on Old Louisville Road and watched the Saratoga Building burn, he couldn't help but remmeber the burned body he saw pulled from another fire 25 years ago.

"I've seen it happen before and I didn't want anybody to burn up over there," Kinser said of the three-story building fire. "I was just worried that somebody might have got trapped in there, so I told them about the three kids I'd seen."

He said he told police that he saw three boys walking behind the building a few minutes before the fire started. No one was believed inside the building when it burned and Bowling Green Fire Department arson investigator Richard Storey said oen of the three teenage boys has been interviewed. The building is owned by Hunter Hills Baptist Church Corp., according to the Warren County Property Valuation Administrator's Office.

The other youths might be interviewed today, along with some residents and businessmen ni a section of northeast Bowling Green that has seen two suspicious fires in the same block last week and several acts of vandalism and attempted arson during past months. Storey said he can't blame people for not wanting to talk about the incidents, which have included car tire slashings and the burning of a tire in front of Kinser's business.

"I would be concerned if I lived out there and somebody set a fire and I saw who did it. I'd be careful about what I said and who I said it to," Storey said.

Witnesses are more likely to report people involved with assults and burglaries than they are arsons, Storey said.

"People are more afraid of fires and I don't blame them," he said.

Several residents and workers at the scene of the Saratoga fire were willing to give details of what they saw, but most declined to give their name for fear of retribution.

"I'm not giving no names. We've had too much going on around here; something might happen," one man said as he watched firefighters battle the fire.

There are indications that the Saratoga fire, which reignited Sunday, and a fire Tuesday in a vacant house about 30 yards away were teh results of arson, Storey said.

"Right now there is no indication the two are connected, but it is a possibility. I think it's a coincidence right now... I hope so anyway," Storey said.

Firefighters said Saturday night that they entered the Saratoga to find numerous fires burning inside of the three-story brick building, making it impossible for them to battle all the hot spots at once. Assistant Chief Randall Gann said that as they attacked some of the fires, others got worse, eventually forcing firefighters out of the building.

Storey said Tuesday's fire at 1462 Old Louisville Road started at teh back of the empty home where a porch had been converted into a family room.

"We'll start there adn work our way back," he said of that arson investigation.

Firefighters returned Sunday to the Saratoga fire scene for about 30 minutes to extinguish some hard-to-reach hot spots. Storey said he was hoping to get to the fire scene today.

"We can't get into it right now because there's too much ice and there is some danger of the walls collapsing. We're hoping some of the ice will melt today," he said.

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