Neighbors: Heroin use to blame for two-house fire in Portland neighborhood
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As temperatures in Louisville approach the triple digits, two Louisville families will have to face the reality of being without their homes.
“[My husband] looked outside the back door and shut it and said, ‘oh my God,’” Kelli Davis said. “[There were] massive flames all over the side.”
Kelli Davis told WAVE News she and her husband had just returned home from the grocery store when he saw the flames.
From there, she said she tried to grab her three cats, but could only find two.
That’s when her neighbor, Darlene Searcy, ran across the street into Davis’ smoking home and helped her get out of her house.
“[I wanted] to make sure everybody gets out safe,” Searcy said. “That’s just me. I put everybody else’s safety before mine, and if I can help them, I did my good deed for the day.”
The fire took place around 5:30 p.m. near the intersection of North 29th Street and Slevin Street in the Portland neighborhood.
After the calls for help, fire crews were on scene in two minutes, according to LFD Major Bobby Cooper.
Cooper told WAVE News the fire started in the back of one of the homes and spread to the second home.
He said LFD’s Arson Unit will investigate how the fire started, but Davis said the neighborhood’s rampant drug use is to blame.
“The neighbors next to us in 2903, they’re meth users, heroin users,” Davis said. “And one of their girls was out back in the corner smoking her heroin, and the flame with the wind got away from her and she caused it, smoking heroin.”
In July 2021, a WAVE Troubleshooter investigation found constant drug use nearby, at a home on 27th and Slevin Streets.
When firefighters tried to hook their hose to the hydrant on Slevin Street, Cooper said the water main collapsed, causing the street to buckle and forcing them to find a different water source.
Cooper confirmed the fire was under control within 25 minutes and nobody was injured.
The American Red Cross will assist the families living in the two burned homes.
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