Abandoned Big Clifty house burns

Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette An abandoned home in Big Clifty burned to the ground in the early hours of Wednesday, July 15.

An abandoned home in Big Clifty burned to the ground in the early hours of Wednesday, July 15.

At approximately 1:01 a.m. on Wednesday, the East Grayson County Volunteer Fire Department (EGCVFD) was called to a vacant residence near 246 Hardin Springs Rd. in Big Clifty.

EGCVFD Chief Bob Williams said that, upon arrival on the scene, East Grayson County firefighters discovered the building “fully engulfed in flames.”

Firefighters were unable to enter the building for an interior attack, so they instead battled the blaze from the outside and successfully prevented it from spreading to the surrounding area, according to Williams.

EGCVFD personnel initially cleared the scene at around 4:45 a.m. on Wednesday morning; however, a brush truck was brought in shortly after that to extinguish some flames that had begun flaring back up. The firefighters operating the brush truck cleared the scene around 6 a.m.

Williams said EGCVFD personnel had difficulty determining the origin of the blaze due to the severity of the fire and the damage to the residence but believe it may have originated near the rear of the building.

Williams said there was no electricity in the house at the time of the fire, but Kentucky Utilities responded to disconnect the meter nearby.

“It was a suspicious fire,” said Williams, who explained that while it has not been determined the fire was caused by arson, he believes it was.

Williams said he had, for some time, feared that a fire might break out at the Hardin Springs Road residence—which had been vacant since its last resident, Phillip Burkhead, passed away several years ago—in light of the multiple abandoned homes that burned in Big Clifty over the past year.

Williams said the Hardin Springs Road residence had so much overgrowth around it that someone could easily sneak behind it without being seen.

Arson investigators are expected to come soon to observe the burned residence, which was ruled a “total loss” as a result of Wednesday’s fire, according to Williams.

No one was injured as a result of the fire.

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