Mayor Newberry: "Herculean Effort" From Firefighters

Police had to evacuate several blocks of downtown Lexington on Thursday morning as fire crews worked to put out a raging fire at a business that housed pyrotechnics.

Mayor Jim Newberry lifted that evacuation order at around 1:00 p.m. because the fire was under control at that time. People were then allowed back into their homes.

Mayor Newberry held a press conference on Thursday afternoon with other city officials to dissuss the response. Mayor Newberry called the response a "herculean effort" and said despite the heat, only one firefighter suffered heat exhaustion.

The mayor was also thankful for a response from the Salvation Army, which made liquids and foods available for emergency crews.

The fire broke out a little after 9:30 at 218 Jefferson Street at the Star Light and Magic Company.

The company specializes in special effects and lighting fro magicians, including pyrotechnics. Our crew on the scene reported hearing several explosions inside the building.

It was a two alarm fire and dozens of firefighters were called in to battle the flames. Crews even used a ladder truck to fight the fire from above.

Thick smoke could be seen throughout the downtown area and at least one person had to be treated for smoke inhalation.

Mayor Jim Newberry instructed police to evacuate people who live and work in the immediate area. The evacuation area included the blocks within Third, Second, Jefferson and Miller Streets. He says the evacuation was necessary because of the potential for a haz-mat situation.

People who are evacuated were able to take shelter at the Salvation Army at 736 West Main Street.

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