City could burn house on Applegate Lane week of Aug. 14

Mayor Craig Greenberg says he will only sign off on the plan when he is fully satisfied.
Published: Aug. 3, 2023 at 3:28 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2023 at 3:49 PM EDT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A team of 100 people started going door to door Thursday evening in a mile wide circle around the house full of hazardous chemicals and explosives on Applegate Lane.

Louisville Metro Government says it could potentially burn the house at 6213 Applegate the week of August 14. It has not set a specific date, but Mayor Craig Greenberg said he will not sign off on a burn plan until he is fully satisfied with its attention to detail.

Part of the planning process includes gathering information from residents in a mile wide circle around the house. 900 homes and up to 2,000 people could be affected by burning the home, which the city confirmed still has explosive chemicals inside.

“We are concerned about everything and that’s why we are taking our time, that’s why we are working with as many experts as we need to,” Greenberg said.

Greenberg said the city is busy consulting with health, environmental, and explosive experts as officials prepare to burn down the Applegate Lane house.

Metro government has released the first pictures of the inside showing how much clutter there is.

“This makes it not possible for our folks to safely remove everything from inside the home,” Greenberg said.

The city declined to release the list of chemicals inside the home because of the ongoing criminal investigation, other than to say more explosive chemicals are present.

Police charged the homeowner, Marc Troy Hibel, 53, with two counts of burglary related to him squatting in the home at 6211 Applegate, which he did not own. His bond has been raised to $50,000.

“I am not going to authorize any actions until I’m completely satisfied that we are doing this in the safest way possible,” Greenberg said.

Louisville Metro will hold a meeting for people who live or work in the neighborhood on Monday, August 7 at Highview Baptist Church, 7711 Fegenbush Lane.

The burn plan will need to take into account weather, school, and a host of other factors before Greenberg signs off on it.

Other cities have gone through this and have done it safely, like a controlled burn of a home full of explosives outside San Diego, California.

“We have a lot of information that we are relying on as we are planning this operation,” Greenberg said.

The start date for Jefferson County Public Schools is another factor Greenberg said they’re trying to consider.

More information will be known following the public meeting for the neighborhood.