Woman burned, 9 displaced after fire spreads to three homes - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Woman burned, 9 displaced after fire spreads to three homes

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Barbara Phelps Barbara Phelps
Gregg McGinnis Gregg McGinnis
Jessica Massie Jessica Massie

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - At least one woman is recovering in the hospital after suffering burns following multiple early morning house fires in Louisville's Shelby Park neighborhood.

"We made it out without getting hurt but we lost everything," said Barbara Phelps, a resident of one of three homes along the 600 block of E. Ormsby Avenue that went up in flames early Tuesday morning.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Crews take control of blaze after 3 homes burn in Shelby Park]

"It caught on fire somehow, some way in the back," said Phelps. "A lady downstairs came up and got us upstairs and she was getting everybody else out around here."

"We got the call at 4:37 a.m. in the 600 block of East Ormsby Street and units arrived on scene in three minutes," said Chief Greg Frederick of the Louisville Division of Fire. "They had heavy fire in two large two-story dwellings that were in close proximity to each other and the fire was spreading to a third building."

Phelps and her family escaped from the second floor of a green, split-level house located at the intersection of Ormsby Avenue and Hancock Street. Louisville fire officials have confirmed the fire sparked at Phelps' multi-tenant residence before spreading next door where Gregg McGinnis and an acquaintance had been sleeping. The duo were awakened when McGinnis' dog started barking.

"Usually when the dog barks, I go to the door; something out there is wrong," explained McGinnis. "I looked out the window. I saw the flames from the next house coming onto mine. {We} ran through the fire. A good friend of the family, she got burned."

Fire officials have not identified the woman, but confirmed injuries to McGinnis' friend consisted of burns to her face and arms. McGinnis' four-legged companion, however, was even less fortunate.

"It happened so fast I didn't have enough time to go back and get him," said McGinnis.

It took 30 Louisville firefighters more than 90 minutes to get the fires under control. All morning, Jessica Massie watched from the sidewalk, also forced from her home by the spreading flames.

"The first thing I did was go back and get my kids ''cus their rooms are upstairs," said Massie. "I was the last one out of the house with our animals too because they're just as much our children."

The fires forced nine people from their homes, prompting the Red Cross to respond to aid the displaced.

"They're going to help us out for three nights," began Phelps, "but what are we going to do after three nights?"

As neighbors tried to figure out where to even begin picking up the pieces, fire officials began looking into exactly why these homes in the Shelby Park neighborhood caught fire.

"We do have arson on the scene investigating the cause," said Chief Frederick.

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