Crews Fight Fire at Vacant Warehouse in Louisville, KY Area

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July 18th, 2023

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

On Monday June 12th, after 4 PM, a four-story vacant warehouse in Smoketown, Kentucky, caught on fire. The fire started as a two-alarm fire and quickly jumped to a three-alarm fire.  Over 100 responders arrived at the 60,000-square-foot blaze.

fire at vacant warehouse
Heavy Black Smoke in Picture Above as Rescue Workers Battle the Blaze.

Crews tried to fight the fire from the inside, but due to building conditions and age, they quickly evacuated and fought the fire from the outside instead using a defensive fire attack, surrounding the building, and attacking from the exterior.  After being on the scene, they quickly decided to call a box alarm fire. Shortly after that determination, the building collapsed.

The owner of the building, Wayside Christian Mission, was located and fully cooperated in the investigation. The owners acknowledged receiving complaints about homeless individuals occasionally occupying the building, but they clarified that the primary use was for storing furniture, fixtures, and kitchen equipment for their shelter. Next to Wayside Christian Mission was another nonprofit organization, Loaves of Fishes, which also incurred damage.

the vacant warehouse where a fire took place
Picture of Wayside Christian Mission and Loaves of Fishes Before Fire

The Louisville Fire Department did assess the building in 2022 and determined it needed repairs, which were reportedly in process. Investigators will try to determine what caused the fire, but it does not seem to be intentional at this time. Thankfully no injuries were reported.

If you have a vacant building, please read our article vacant properties  to ensure you have sprinkler systems and alarms functioning properly. Contact Risk Logic for a detailed property risk inspection. RLI can assist in identifying potential hazards, evaluating the sufficiency of a building’s fire prevention system, and thus preventing fires like the one mentioned.