Firefighter Killed Responding To Fatal Domestic Dispute - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Firefighter Killed Responding To Fatal Domestic Dispute

(LEXINGTON, Ky., February 14th, 2004, 12:05 a.m.) -- One firefighter was killed and another was wounded Friday after authorities responded to a domestic violence call at a home in Lexington. A third firefighter was also injured. The woman who called police was shot and killed during the incident, and police later stormed the home and took a suspect into custody.

Lexington police chief Anthany Beatty said fire and police crews converged on a house near Interstate 75 in southeast Fayette County just before 4 p.m., summoned by a woman's 911 call. That woman ended up being shot by the suspect.

The firefighter who died, Brenda Cowan, was the first black woman to join the Lexington Fire Department and was promoted to lieutenant last month. Cowan, 40, was a 12-year veteran of the
department.

Pat Hutchinson surrendered to Lexington police about 10 p.m. after barricading himself for nearly six hours in a house on Adams Lane in southeastern Fayette County, near the border with Madison County and close to Interstate 75, authorities said.

I-75 was shut down for several hours during the standoff, and police said they used 15 rounds of tear gas to smoke Hutchinson out of the house.

Firefighters responded because they also work as emergency medical workers. The two firefighters who were injured were airlifted to University of Kentucky hospital. Cowan died at the hospital at 5:35 p.m.

The firefighter who was injured, Jim Sanford, was in stable condition overnight. Hendricks said Sanford was alert and conscious.

"This is our worst nightmare," Hendricks said.

Ronnie Day, executive director of the Kentucky Fire Commission, couldn't recall the last time a firefighter was shot and killed in the line of duty.

"I've been doing this for quite some time," he said. "It just makes you sick to your stomach."

Cowan is the third Lexington firefighter to die in the line of duty. Robert Wayne Martin died in a fire in 1986 and Charles Williams, Jr., was killed in a blaze in 1997.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)