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Cause unknown; investigation continues

By Jamie Baker-Nantz

Firefighters from seven departments battled a blaze, which leveled a Cordova business last week.


A Corinth firefighter received minor injuries after he was knocked down by an explosion inside the wood  frame structure.

The fire broke out around 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21 at Mike’s Auto Salvage on KY 330.

The cause of the fire is not known but a deputy fire marshal was scheduled to visit the site on Oct. 26 to see if a cause could be determined.

Tylor Utter, a neighbor, said he called 911 after the shop’s manager returned to the building and discovered it was in flames. The manager ran across the street and told Utter to call for help.

Corinth firefighters were the first to arrive, followed by Williamstown about 15 minutes later.

Williamstown Fire Chief Les Whalen said when he arrived the building was “pitch black.’

“There were a lot of heat and flames,” Whalen said.

Initially, firefighters were hampered by a lack of manpower and issues with the fire trucks being able to pump water onto the fire.

“I can’t say if having more people or flowing more water would have helped or not because the building was about 75 percent destroyed when we got there,” Whalen said.

The roof collapsed and caved in, knocking down electric lines, which hampered firefighting efforts, Whalen said.

Firefighters from Harrison and Owen counties, Jonesville, Crittenden and Dry Ridge also responded to the scene.

The building is owned by Mike O’Hare and is a auto repair/salvage store. It contained gasoline, oil, auto parts and tools for working on vehicles.

Whalen said several small explosions shook the building when propane cylinders tanks used on tow motors blew up. A firefighter was knocked down and another firefighter fell on top of him, He was transported to the hospital where he was treated and released for minor injuries, said Corinth Fire Chief Lonnie Kuhn.

Firefighters were on the scene for about five hours. The Corinth Fire Department was called back to the site when the blaze rekindled around 4:30 a.m. on Oct. 22.

Kuhn said the second fire destroyed the one-third of the building that was left from the first blaze.

“When we got there the second time, it was fully involved and on the ground,” Kuhn said.

The Grant County Chapter of the American Red Cross, along with Rural Metro Ambulance, were also called to the fire.

(Editor’s Note: Camille McClanahan, editorial assistant, contributed to this story.)