Investigation underway into cause of fire at old Hazard High School

By: Katie Roach Email
By: Katie Roach Email

Fire crews put out the flames around 6:00 Monday morning and now state fire marshalls are here trying to figure out what caused the fire.

Dozens of people watched as the old Hazard High School caught on fire Sunday night.

Monday morning, the investigation began into how and why this historic building caught fire.

Hazard Fire Chief Sam Stacy says the fire in the old Hazard High School started on the bottom floor before working its way up.

The floors then collapsed filling the first floor with debris and rubble.

They are currently trying to cool the hot spots so investigators can start digging through the rubble to find a cause for the fire.

The Hazard-Perry County Service Unit of the Red Cross, along with the housing development alliance and community ministries in Hazard are coming together to help the families affected by the fire.

A meeting will be held Tuesday at City Hall at 1 pm. anyone interested can show up to help coordinate a community response.

They are already accepting donations and anyone who wants to send in something can send it to:

Community Ministries
Hazard High Fire Victims
151 Miss Edna Lane
Hazard, Kentucky 41701.

5am Update:

A fire ripped through a Perry County landmark Sunday night, leaving several homeless less than one week before Christmas.

It started in an apartment inside the old Hazard High School on Baker Avenue but quickly spread through much of the building.

Before the fire, there were 30 apartments home to more than one dozen families.

The fire was small at first but quickly turned into a spectacle, leaving several families homeless within minutes.

"I was at the house putting the last ornament on my Christmas tree and they neighbors were beating on the door saying the building was on fire, so I grabbed whatever I could and headed out the door," said Chris Hughes, who lived in the building.

Firefighters say the fire started in a storage apartment on the first floor of the Eblen Apartment complex, just before 11 Sunday night.

One man living in the apartment building says the crackling noise of the fire woke him up.

"I smelled smoke and looked at the window and saw the flames coming out and then I went and woke my wife up and then we started beating on doors trying to wake everybody up. Everybody got out. It happened right there in my apartment," said Mark Baker, who lived in the building.

Baker says this is the second time for him to lose everything he owns in a fire.

"All my stuff is gone. I have nothing. Except for what I came out with on my back," said Baker.

No one knows what started the blaze.

But how it happened does not matter to many of the people who lived in the apartments.

They just want a warm place to sleep and somewhere to celebrate Christmas.

There were no injuries.

Firefighters tell Mountain News the building is likely a loss.

Original story:

Firefighters are battling an apartment fire in Hazard.

The flames broke out Sunday night at the Eblen Apartments on Baker Avenue.

WYMT's Steve Hensley confirms the building is the old Hazard High School.

We've learned everyone living there has escaped the burning building.

Several departments are fighting the fire.

We have a crew on scene and will have the latest on Mountain News This Morning.

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