Recent Fire Highlights City's Need For A Fire Department

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

An eastern Kentucky business goes up in flames, now efforts are underway to bring a new fire department to the area.

The Lewis Market was a popular spot in Hyden for nearly 60 years.

Some believe the business could have been saved if the city had their own fire department.

The fire at the Lewis Market is the second time in three years a fire destroyed a piece of Hyden history.

The mayor of the city says he's working on plans to make Hyden safer and hopefully this kind of loss will not happen again.

Seven volunteer fire departments plus a ladder truck from Hazard were called to help battle the flames at the Lewis market.

“The city really wants to do something to cure this problem. If a building gets on fire on main street, it could burn every building in town,” Mayor Lonnie Hendrix said.

In 2005 a fire destroyed 4 businesses and two apartment building and now after another business is destroyed by fire, the town is wondering if more could have been done.

“The men and women that were at this fire worked so hard, they just didn't have the equipment to put it out with.” Mayor Hendrix said.

Fire crews said they could only use one hydrant downtown.

“We would always have to keep a truck moving back and forth to bring the water into us,” Roger Wolfe said.

Mayor Hendrix is looking into building a city fire department, with paid employees that would be available the moment an emergency call comes in.

“There's money out there. There's homeland security money there's fire fighter grants, fire equipment grants. There's money there. We just need to see where all of it's at, and how to get it,” Wolfe said.

Mayor Hendrix believes they could have saved the building, if they had a ladder truck close by.

Hendrix says he will do everything he can to help out the city without raising taxes for the community.

Family members say they do not plan to rebuild the market, but the cycle shop will be back in business as soon as possible.

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