NEW CONCORD — Calloway County Fire-Rescue Chief Tommy Morgan said that a house fire he and his team battled Sunday in the southeastern portion of the county is one he will remember for its heat as much as the damage it caused.
No one was injured in the blaze that destroyed a large house on Buttercup Drive, about three miles from Cypress Springs Resort along Kentucky Lake on the Kentucky/Tennessee state line. However, even nearby structures suffered greatly from the searing heat this fire generated.
“It was awful. It’s one of the hottest ones I’ve been to in a long time,” Morgan said Monday as he and others gathered at CCFR Station 1 in Murray assessing equipment after they battled the blaze into Sunday night. “We had a house that was fully involved, probably two-and-a-half stories, with a house that was on the left (a single-story structure made of wood) and another on the right that’s probably about two stories and had neighbors living in it.
“When the (Calloway County Sheriff’s Office) deputy who responded went to check on the house next door where there were neighbors, he told me that when he went to open the door knobs, they were so hot he couldn’t hold on to them. We also had a 1,000-gallon (propane) tank and a 500-gallon tank out from the house and they literally were smoking. The mailbox out at the road burned, and no flame got near it.”
Morgan also dispelled rumors that the fire was caused by an explosion. He said he heard that many people claimed to have heard explosions before the fire became visible.
“We have not seen any signs of an actual explosion, though,” Morgan said. “We think the explosion they heard was actually after the fire had started. There were some medical cylinders inside the house, which may have been for oxygen. The deputy who responded also said that he heard a couple of explosions himself after the fire had started.”
Morgan also said there were some very nervous moments after the fire had started.
“The neighbors who called it in were worried because they could see one vehicle on the carport. It turned out that they were in town (away from the house),” he said. “I’ll be honest, though — if there had been somebody inside that, there would’ve been very little we could do. It was just too far gone by the time we got the call. All we could do is go defensive and try to protect the other homes.”
Morgan said nine to 10 trucks, possibly more, responded with 25-30 firefighters. He said six of those trucks were tankers that utilized the lake for replenishing water supplies.