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March 20, 2013

6 P.M. UPDATE: Fire destroys Allison Lane Townhomes building

Seven families displaced

JEFFERSONVILLE — Seven families have been displaced after a fire tore through their Allison Lane Townhomes Wednesday afternoon.

A call for the fire at the complex, in the 1200 block of Allison Lane in Jeffersonville, came in at 3:05 and the first crew arrived on the scene at 3:07 p.m., said Jeffersonville Fire Marshal Mike McCutcheon.

The fire is believed to have started in the center of one of the three structures in the complex — each of which houses multiple townhomes — in the upper level.

Landscapers Chris Halford and Zoltan Feher, who where working at the complex, spotted the fire and called authorities.

“I looked up ... and saw a flame shooting out [of the roof],” Halford said.

Along with Nicholas Raymore, a resident of a different building, the men rushed from door-to-door to notify the residents the structure was on fire. Everyone was able to evacuate the building safely and there were no injuries.

The cause of the fire is unknown, but Jeffersonville Fire Chief Chris Hedrick said investigation will take place.

Witnesses to the blaze offered their theory as to the place of origin for the fire.

“I think something happened in the attic, because that’s where everything was coming from,” Raymore said.

With the start of the fire in the center  of the structure and high winds firefighters battled, by the time crews had the fire under control, it had raced through the attic and destroyed the center of the building’s roof.

“The winds certainly gave us a challenge,” Hedrick said after the fire had been controlled.

He added that there were also issues with the water supply the firefighters were able to access to douse the blaze.

“We didn’t have a sufficient water supply to feed the gallons-per-minute that we needed,” Hedrick said.

He added that it is not an uncommon occurrence and is due to the hydrant pressure and water supply in the area.

Utica Volunteer Fire Department and Charlestown Fire Department provided assistance bringing in water with their pumper trucks and Jeffersonville fire department had two truck companies and four engine companies that responded to the fire. New Albany Fire Department was on standby to help cover other runs in Jeffersonville.

The families living in the townhomes were offered access to nearby Oak Park Baptist Church and the Clark County Chapter of the American Red Cross is also providing assistance to those affected, Hedrick said.

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