Another suspicious fire sparks concern in Hill Rise Drive area

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT)-The apartment building is part of Ralph Messner's group home on Hill Rise Court.

In the last few months, Messner says he's had a dumpster fire and been witness to the damage the dozens of other suspicious fires have left behind.

Today, he says he had only one thought when he got the call about the suspicious fire in his building.

"Did everyone make it out?," he said with tears welling in his eyes. "And they did."

In 1983, Messner says there was a fire started by one of the men staying in a second floor apartment. He says that fire cost five men their lives. He says he did everything to increase safety then and he will do more now.

"They're talking about having off-duty officers patrol around here at night," he said.

In this apartment fire that fire crews were called to around one Saturday morning, he says the resident died three days ago of natural causes. Police say they're investigating who would have known that unit wasn't occupied. Messner says while doesn't think any of his guys are responsible--he and others need to know who is.

"I hope they find the man or woman responsible. They have the fire department scratching all their heads and ours, too."

Messner says the building only has damage to one apartment abd arson investigators are trying to figure out what caused the fire.

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