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Lexington firefighters return home after helping in Mayfield

Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 10:15 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A team of firefighters sent to Mayfield is back in Lexington after working there for 81 continuous hours.

Captain Ryan Hogsten has been with the Lexington Fire Department for 26 years.

“We see heartache quite a bit and we learn to deal with it and put it to the side until we get the job done,” Hogsten said.

But given the time to reflect, Hogsten described the complete destruction in Mayfield.

“It was just like a bunch of lincoln logs or Legos that were put together and somebody kicked them and swiped them over,” Hogsten said.

Hogsten and a team of structural collapse technicians took off for western Kentucky from Lexington on Saturday morning. They went straight to work at the hard-hit candle factory where eight workers were killed and at one point, many feared the death toll was much higher.

“Big praise needs to go to the initial companies, Mayfield Fire Department, and those guys. They made real rescues by saving people, for going in and not having the training,” Hogsten said.

Hogsten noted he and his team have trained for these situations, so they were grateful to help.

“If it closes one family, if they’re able to have closure with it, that’s important to us,” Hogsten said.

They’re grateful to see the help that’s come from around country for these communities.

“I believe the president said the other day there’s no red or blue states when it comes to a disaster, and he couldn’t be more correct, and it’s very evident when you go down to these areas and see them,” Hogsten sad.

Hogsten said he’s been deployed to lots of hurricanes and collapses, including the Champlain Towers collapse in June, but this is one of the worst scenes he’s ever witnessed.

Hogsten doesn’t know yet if there will be future deployments for Lexington Fire to western Kentucky.

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