- Light snow
LATONIA, Ky. - A large fire at a Latonia home claimed the life of one person and injured two others Tuesday morning.
The victim, who police identified as 62-year-old James Fogle Jr., was found on the second floor of the building, according Covington Fire Chief Dan Matthew. When firefighters arrived at approximately 4:30 a.m., the home was fully engulfed in flames and was initially difficult to enter, Matthew said.
Two women suffered injuries when they jumped from a second-story window in an attempt to escape the fire, said Lieutenant Chris Ernst of the Covington Police Department. Authorities have not released their identities or the extent of the injuries.
Those on the scene told 9 On Your Side that after his wife and daughter jumped out of the second floor, Fogle Jr. could not bring himself to jump.
Neighbor Clyde Crawford told 9 On Your Side the victim had lived at the home for more than 20 years with his wife. The victim's adult daughter had recently moved in, according to Crawford.
Crawford watched from his front porch as first responders fought the fire directly across the street.
"Worst night that we've ever had," he said.
"My wife and myself been married 50 years, and I don't think we've ever, ever had a worse night."
Several factors complicated the firefighting efforts, officials said. The morning's freezing temperatures caused the area around the fire hydrant to freeze and puddles of water froze created a challenge as crews worked to avoid slipping.
"It's made our job terribly difficult when it's this cold outside," said Chief Matthew.
"There's ice all over the ground from the water. That's hazardous enough in itself, outside of our job. It makes it very hard for us to our job. Guys are cold, there's ice everywhere, so we do our best to warm them up, and keep them as safe as we can."
Downed wires in the area caused a safety hazard for the fire crews as well. Duke Energy work crews have since cut the gas and electric off from the building.
At least five different fire engines responded to the scene to fight the blaze. Crews controlled the fire by about 7 a.m.
Police called a Metro bus to the scene to keep people warm while fire crews fought the blaze in the cold temperatures.
A memorial fund has been set up in Fogle's name. You can make a donation through local 5/3 Banks under the Fogle Family Memorial Fund.
9 On Your Side has a crew on the scene. Stay with 9 On Your Side and WCPO.com for updates as they become available.
9 On Your Side reporter Kendall Herold contributed to this report. Kendall Herold can be reached at KHerold@wcpo.com .
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