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Concerns over hydrant not working rise following fire, standoff at Richmond apartment

Five apartments at Richmond Manor were either damaged or destroyed Saturday night after police said the building was intentionally set on fire.
Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 6:03 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - Five apartments at Richmond Manor were either damaged or destroyed Saturday night after police said the building was intentionally set on fire.

Police said they were in a standoff with Logan Browning, who had been shooting at officers from inside one of the units after a domestic dispute. We’ve now learned crews had difficulty fighting the fire because a nearby hydrant was not working—and it’s not the first time.

Several fire departments from around Madison County, and even the Lexington Fire Department, responded to the fire at Richmond Manor Saturday night.

We’ve learned the fire hydrant that is less than 100 yards away was not working. An ‘out of service’ tag is marked on it.

This is the second time a fire hydrant at that complex has failed when there was a fire. In September 2019, crews had the same issue when a fire heavily damaged six units. On Monday WKYT’s Chad Hedrick talked to the mayor of Richmond, Robert Blythe, who is troubled that this has happened again.

“Since it was made public that we’ve got water district issues, with respect to those fire hydrants, maybe some of those that are responsible for that district, would catch on and take the initiative to do something. But that’s not been the case, thus far I’m not aware that it has been. Of course, I think it showed up this time that that has not been the case,” Mayor Blythe said.

As you can imagine, the families now displaced are also upset.

“I’m hoping to see that they just start checking everything just to make sure everything is working just in case situations like this ever happen. I’m hoping that they’ll make sure everything is running. Instead of an incident like this occur again,” said Kellie Isaacs, whose apartment was damaged.

Madison County Utilities is responsible for the functioning of the hydrant. They do not report directly under the city. Mayor Blythe says he would like for city and county leaders to meet with the utility company to address the safety shortcomings.

“We have no authority over the county, but I think this would be an excellent time however to take a good close look at those areas of the city.”

We reached out to Madison County Utilities for a comment and were deferred to their attorney. We were told we would get a statement emailed to us, but we have not yet.

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