919, 921 and 923 Ervin Terrace were damaged in the fire that broke out about 4:00 PM on Thursday afternoon in Dayton, Kentucky. Jane Bay, a neighbor across the street from the homes that caught fire, heard 2 or 3 loud explosions then ran outside and heard a couple more explosions coming from one of the houses across the street. The fire was shooting out the left hand side and the homes next to it quickly caught on fire. According to the witness, the fire looked like it started in the rear of the home and then moved to the front of the structure. “I think they are all renters.” Jane Bay said. “Renters don’t care usually. They let the house go to pot and the owners don’t keep them up.”
Chief Auteri from the Bellevue Dayton Fire Department spoke with us and said, “We got a call around 4:30 report of a structure fire, 921 Ervin Terrace. Upon arrival the structure was fully engulfed both neighboring structures on fire also. Everyone was out of the house and we did get one cat out. We did call the arson team in, there is some footage that neighbors took of the beginning of the fire so they are going through the footage and interviewing people on the scene prior to our arrival. Anytime we have a fire of this magnitude we will call an arson team in. The police have the cat and will get the cat to the Campbell County Shelter. The challenge is always the climate this time of year, the hill that we have, the hydrants. We are fortunate that there is a hydrant 2 houses down and it is working. We had trouble with the hydrant north of us, we were able to get it to come on and the water line ended up busting. The city of Dayton is going to salt the streets, we had a couple of guys fall but had no injuries. Looks like three families are displaced, one male and three females. The middle home is a total loss and the other homes, they will eventually be able to get back in there. The gentleman left about 2:30 in the afternoon so he has been gone for a while. The other 2 neighbors were out of the house standing across the street upon our arrival. We don’t have the name of the occupant yet. The fire started at 921 Ervin Terrace, the team is researching but it looks like it started in the rear. We have to get in the house to figure out if there are propane tanks, oxygen tanks, any kind of tanks. The man that lived there is an elderly man, a veteran, so he may have had oxygen tanks. We heard he may have been a hoarder.”
Wilder, Ft. Thomas, Newport and Bellevue Dayton Fire Departments all arrived on the scene to fight the fire. The Red Cross was on the scene to help the displaced residents.