Walton fire destroyed 3 condos, damaged 2

Posted at 12:57 PM, Dec 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-26 18:26:27-05

WALTON, Ky. -- Three home units were completely destroyed and two more suffered severe water damage after a large fire started in a condominium complex early Saturday morning.

Fire officials said seven or eight people were in the Cantering Hills Way building when the fire started, but no one was hurt.

Lt. Thomas Ollier of the Walton Fire Department said he thinks smoke alarms played a big role in the safe removal of all residents. Ollier said everyone was "very fortunate" and that the working smoke alarms likely saved their lives.

"At that time of the night -- they're very fortunate." Ollier said. "Being late and everybody being sleeping, those fires come really quickly and can catch them off guard."

Some residents said they woke up to the sound of police pounding on their doors, warning them about the fire. Gavin Singleton, a neighbor, said the sounds of glass breaking and rescuers working were audible from his home.

The fire was under control after 60-90 minutes of multiple fire departments working together, Ollier said. Fire officials said they do not believe the fire is suspicious.It started in the garage, firefighters said.

"It hurts a little bit more, especially after a major holiday," Ollier said. "We feel for the families who have to go through something like that. It's devastating."

Mike Vogt, the cousin of a resident, said it looked like little could be salvaged.

The Red Cross was helping displaced residents find food, clothing and shelter. One family is still looking for their cat, which a neighbor said had run out just before the fire spread.

"It's sad and it's frustrating, but they helped each other and got through it just fine," Vogt said. "We got a lot of help from the fire department. They were fantastic. The Red Cross was here, they did a terrific job. So everybody's really grateful for the way things turned out. It could have been a lot worse."