Tompkinsville Fire Leaves Many Homeless

By Lauren Hanson | 

An apartment fire leaves more than 20 migrant workers without a home. Five apartments caught on fire a little after 5 a.m. outside of Tompkinsville .

Three Monroe County fire departments were on the scene shortly there-after.

While the flames were extinguished, the apartments are a total loss. No injuries were reported and now the renters are left to pick up the pieces.

Smoldering remains are all that's left of five apartments.

"They're okay, they're okay-they know how to deal with it," apartment owner Jimmie Borders said.

The apartments housed around 25 migrant workers. Jimmie Borders owns the complex and is the men's employer.

He said they tried to save anything they could starting with their cars.

"We grabbed a four-wheel-drive truck. All the keys were inside, so we grabbed them and got them out of the way," Borders said.

Firefighters were also trying to salvage what they could. They were on the scene in the early morning hours, fighting the flames.

"For our area this is a large fire. Most of our structures are small, so this is probably the biggest one we've had for a pretty good while," Lt. Carlie Proffitt said, with the Flippin Fire Dept.

Firefighters say the apartments were completely engulfed in flames. So as they battled the blaze, they knew the structure would probably be lost.

"You're really trained to knock down the flames, so we don't have much thought except to get the flames down," Proffitt added.

"We knew the place was going to be a total loss and that we had to be concerned with sheltering and of course feeding and clothing the folks that had been involved with this disaster," said Bill Schlicht, with the American Red Cross.

Despite losing their home and all of their possessions, the men are said to be doing well. They're thankful that no one was injured.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Volunteer fire departments from Mud Lick, Flippin and Gamaliel all responded.

The South-Central Kentucky chapter of the American Red Cross has helped to set up an emergency shelter for the men.

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