Chemical Fire Causes Evacuation in Hart County

A fire on 31W involving chemicals in Hart County closed the road for several hours.

No one was injured in the fire, but officials don't know the cause of it yet.

It was a barn fire on Highway 31W in Hart County, but officials say what was inside the burning barn was a big cause for concern.

Around 3:30 today, police had to evacuate about a half mile area near the fire, which was just north of Horse Cave in Hart County.

Police say there were five 55 gallon drums of acetone in the barn.

"The reason for the evacuation is the chemical burning, with acetone it can cause breathing problems. We're constantly checking the wind to see if the wind's changing, and it's basically just to keep everyone safe," said Kentucky State Police Trooper Jonathan Biven.

Police said they evacuated five homes and one business in the area.

"Everybody is understanding, and that really helps in these types of situations, that we can let these residents know what's going on. They're able to find shelter, and they're to go some place for the evening," said Biven.

The area fire departments on scene were instructed by state officials to let the fire burn down as much as possible on it's own.

The reasons include safety, and because it would take so much water to put out this type of chemical fire, it could pollute area water.

"We are in the cave area, and at this point we feel like we need to let it burn off. Large amounts of water gets into the cave system and contaminates, and of course we have that cave system here in Horse Cave," said Horse Cave Volunteer Fire Department Chief Donnie Parker.

So, for many hours it was a waiting game for emergency officials that kept 31W closed.

Officials say the road opened back up at 8:30, after the fire burned down enough to be put out around eight.

The stretch of Highway on 31W was closed for about five hours.


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