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Old 12-26-2007, 07:35 PM   #1
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Breaking News - A hot time in the old town today!

My brother, 1/2 mile away from me, called me at about 7 a.m. today and told me to look out our back windows. Even though I'm older than he, I was obedient and did.

Whoa!!! About a block away behind us, I saw flames shooting to the sky, tons of smoke and lots of flashing lights. I also heard what sounded like a train roaring. No train...just the sound of the roaring fire that was destroying our courthouse.

We live on West Court Street, which is one of the streets that run alongside and right up to the courthouse, so we had a front row seat to the sight.

By noon and with the help of 12 fire departments, 150 firefighters, a bunch of tank trucks, and all the water in our city's 100,000-gallon water tank, the fire was finally brought under control. No cause for the fire yet. Under investigation. The last courthouse burned in 1980 because of arson.

The building is totally GONE and a huge mess and there's still the smell of fire and smoke in the air. Now everyone's scrambling to find a place to conduct the county's legal business. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

Our local NBC station has information and video reports here if you want to see how we started our day.

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Old 12-26-2007, 07:44 PM   #2
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Wow, that's terrible. And for such an important building to be the victim. Glad no one was injured. As devastating as fire is, it's facinating to watch. I remember chasing fires in NJ as a kid.
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:10 PM   #3
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Wow. Scary!
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:13 PM   #4
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Wow.... I hope no one got hurt.
That's a LOT of firefighters.

Wonder what happened to the records the courthouse usually keeps..... What happened in 1980? Do they have a backup plan for this? They do keep records at the courthouse don't they? I'm pretty sure they do here.
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
Wow.... I hope no one got hurt.
That's a LOT of firefighters.

Wonder what happened to the records the courthouse usually keeps..... What happened in 1980? Do they have a backup plan for this? They do keep records at the courthouse don't they? I'm pretty sure they do here.
Yes, pacanis, there were lots of records that were stored there but most of them were safe because they were stored in fire-safe vaults.

The fire in 1980 was started by someone who was to go on trial for a crime and wanted to destroy some evidence.
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:58 PM   #6
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fire

we know all about fires here in southern calif. this summer was just awful with
wild fires threatening many people.

good luck on clean up

babe
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Old 12-27-2007, 02:04 AM   #7
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what an impression that must have left---hope that noone was hurt as a result, Katie
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:09 AM   #8
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that's pretty scary stuff, glad no one was hurt. The first thing I thought of was, uh oh, there go some major genealogical records, but maybe they were destroyed in the 1980 fire? I've been stopped more than once by important records being destroyed in court house fires, starting with those darn British in the early 1800's in New Jersey.

What a mess and a loss to the community/county.
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Old 12-27-2007, 10:12 AM   #9
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Glad you weren't too close! Must have been a bit scary. Still got the smoke smell in the air??

Perth has been hit by arson over Christmas. There were over 100 fires started since Christmas Eve. The worst one burnt 15,000 acres of bushland. You can see some of it in this video:
Firefighters work to control southern suburbs blaze | PerthNow
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:14 PM   #10
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Update

As of today, the fire has been ruled arson...again. The 1980 fire was arson, too. The person who set that fire was caught and imprisoned (died in prison). It'll be interesting to see how this scenario plays out.

In the meantime, the county clerk's office is in a temporary trailer on the courthouse property. Some of the other county offices are housed in a vacant Chevy dealership building and the circuit court is holding sessions in the Masonic Lodge.

There's a reason Kentucky's motto is "United we stand. Divided we fall." At this point, we are definitely "united." Everyone's pulling together and the clean-up has been going on around the clock. There's really nothing left on the site except for the 2 vaults that held/hold valuable county records, some of them dating back to 1833. Had the National Guard and Kentucky State Police guarding them until the temp office was established nearby.

I'm really very proud of our community.
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