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Weather-related emergencies this past week have resulted in three house fires and the carbon monoxide poisoning of 11 people, but fortunately no deaths, said Nathan Nation, chief of Taylorsville-Spencer County Fire Department.
The home of one Spencer County family was completely destroyed Saturday night after fire ignited from a kerosene heater. Chris Parrott told fire officials he was trying to refill a heater in the bathroom when suddenly there was a flash of fire. In an attempt to remove the remaining fuel, Parrott said he ran to the door – only to discover all he had in his hand was the container’s handle and a trail burning behind him.
Nation said Parrott tried to smother the blaze, but with no success. All he could do was get his wife and three children out safely. When Parrott returned for the family dog, it was too late.
“He estimated that in three minutes the fire had run through their whole home,” said Nation.
As firefighters approached the scene, located in the 1800 block of Shelbyville Rd./KY 155 East, flames poured from every window and reached high into the night sky. There was little that could be done other than protecting the nearby garage and a car parked in the driveway.
“We all got out safe,” said Heather Parrott, “that’s all that matters.”
Chris and Heather Parrott have three children ages 7,4, and 1. Chris Parrott suffered minor burns to his hands and face, but refused medical treatment by EMS at the scene.
Firefighters responded to another house fire Sunday night at the home of Josh Hardin, located in the 2500 block of Little Union Road.
Nation said that after learning their power had been restored, the family came home only to discover their house full of smoke. Hardin quickly found the source of the fire – items left atop the electric stove that was accidently left on when the power went out last week.
“They were very lucky they came home when they did,” said Nation.
Nation said the fire was out upon the arrival of the fire department. Firefighters used a large fan to clear the home of smoke.
Hardin suffered minor burns to his hands and arms. He refused medical treatment at the scene.
The third fire occurred last week at the home of Minnie Brown on Village Drive in Waterford. Nation said that kerosene fuel spilled in the hallway ignited and fire quickly climbed up the nearby wall.
A quick-thinking neighbor extinguished the blaze and assisted Brown and a child with getting out of the residence.
“These actions did assist in providing safety to the occupants and preventing major fire damage to the home,” said Nation.
In what could have resulted in a tragedy, 11 people in a home on Drake Ridge Road were transported to Flaget Memorial Hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning after going to sleep with a generator running in the basement.
“They could have gone to sleep and never woken up,” said EMS Director Darrell Stevens.
Reports from emergency personnel are that one of the male patients had awakened last Wednesday morning with a headache and feelings of nausea. Once realizing that he was the victim of CO poisoning, he called 9-1-1 and began waking the others.
When fire and EMS responded to the home, they discovered that several families were trying to stay warm during the power outage by using a generator to power space heaters.
The youngest of the 11 patients was one-year-old. All have since been released from the hospital.
Of the more than 100 calls the Taylorsville-Spencer County Fire Department has responded to since last Tuesday’s winter storm, the majority of calls was to check on the welfare of residents, help to transport people to the emergency shelter and check on malfunctioning residential fire alarms.