Officials: Electric space heater blamed for fire

By Marisela Burgos - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Several people are homeless after a fire destroyed a home and damaged the building next to it. A firefighter and three others were injured in the fire that started around 12:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at 18th and Market Streets.

Captain Sal Melendez with Louisville Fire and Rescue said the cause of the fire was an electric space heater. According to Melendez, clothes next to the space heater ignited. He also blames it on improper use of an extension cord.

Melendez said the fire spread quickly and nine people had to be evacuated from the two homes, including a child. Two of the people were rescued. One man who was rescued tried to put the fire out using buckets of water. Melendez said that person has second degree burns to a small area on his back. The other man who was rescued was in the second home and was in a wheelchair. Melendez said a firefighter suffered a knee injury, but said he is expected to be okay.

Thomas Brown, who was in a wheelchair, said friends and firefighters rushed to help him.

"I'm just thankful for the people that came and beat on my door to wake me up," Brown said. "I don't have any place to go, so I don't really know what to do," Brown said.

The American Red Cross is helping the fire victims.

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