Person critically injured, another hurt in house fire in Saint Joseph neighborhood

House fire injures 2; strangers stop to help victims escape

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Two people escaped a massive house fire in the Saint Joseph neighborhood of Louisville on Tuesday evening, one with critical injuries.

The fire started around 4:50 p.m., in the 500 block of Lilly Avenue, MetroSafe said. That’s off Crittenden Drive near Eastern Parkway.

A video from a WAVE 3 News viewer showed massive flames shooting from the house. Witnesses said they heard a series of explosions, the first several of which shook the ground, as the house caught fire.

Louisville house goes up in flames

Two people escaped from the home, Louisville Fire Department Assistant Chief Terence Delaney said. They were helped across the street by passersby.

Chris Freudenberger said he spotted the smoke from the fire when he was driving around the corner. He stopped to help when he saw a woman outside the home who was on fire.

“At that point I ran into the front yard, on the front porch,” Freudenberger said. “There were two gentlemen there who were trying to move her but couldn’t so I got there, we helped move her off the porch, actually took the blanket and doused out the fire, got her to a certain point in the front yard, the power line had fallen to the ground there.”

Freudenberger said that’s when he started to hear loud explosions.

“Oxygen tanks in the house started exploding like 10-12, it seemed like, so we then picked her up and brought her onto the sidewalk over here,” Freudenberger said. “They kept exploding. We knew we needed to get her further away from the house so we took her across the street. Another gentlemen walked up and helped us get her across the street and we were just sitting there waiting for EMS.”

One person was rushed to University Hospital with critical injuries. The other person is expected to be OK.

It took 25 firefighters to get the flames under control. Delaney said the house is a total loss.

Fire officials said the home is a total loss.
Fire officials said the home is a total loss. (WAVE 3 News)

The homes on either side of where the fire started were also damaged.

Delaney said he would not speculate on the reports of explosions. He said they do not know the cause of the fire yet.

Investigators were on scene.

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