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Mount Eden firehouse blaze deemed ‘not suspcicious,’ fire chief says

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By Lynette Mason

Landmark News Service

Less than a week after a devastating fire destroyed the Mount Eden firehouse, four apparatus, supplies and equipment, Mount Eden Fire Chief Doug Herndon and his all-volunteer crew of firefighters, are back in the business of protecting and serving the Mount Eden community.

The early morning fire last Tuesday consumed the facilities and equipment, but it did not take the spirit and determination from the department.

By Wednesday evening, Herndon said, “I want to assure the Mount Eden community in saying that we’re all still here, we’ve been loaned equipment from area departments, and we’re back on line to serve you.”

By the end of day one, Herndon was quick to appoint Lt. John Butler as public information officer to handle the overwhelming response from concerned citizens, fire investigators, fire departments from all across the U.S., and the media.

Butler told the Spencer Magnet that the bureau for Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Kentucky State Police have now finished their investigation and what he can say right now is that, “the fire is not suspicious.”

Butler also said that insurance investigators are still active with the scene and the area has been surrounded with security fencing, but that actual clean up and rebuilding will not begin until the insurance investigation is finalized.

All Mount Eden Fire Department volunteers have been measured for uniforms and the department has been loaned a couple of fire trucks and various equipment that will allow them to be equipped to respond to any emergencies during the clean-up and rebuilding phases.

Butler said the sheer abundance of people wishing to offer financial support or to assist in one way or another, along with the dozens, if not hundreds, of calls and email from numerous people prompted the Mount Eden Fire Department and Board of Trustees to set up an “Official Donation Account” to ensure accuracy and transparency in accounting, as well as financial security to those wishing to help.

The department issued the following statement in regard to donations.

“The Firefighters and Board of Trustees of the Mount Eden Fire Department are working with the Peoples Bank of Taylorsville and have set up the ‘Official’ donation account.

“If you would like to make a donation to the Mount Eden Fire Department you can do so by going to the Main Branch on Main Street in Taylorsville, or the Elk Creek Branch.

If you would like to contact The Peoples Bank of Taylorsville, the phone number is 502- 477-2244. The account name is: ‘Mount Eden Fire District Board Disaster Contribution’ account.”

Butler cautioned people to “remember this account is the only official account that has been set up.”

“The Mount Eden Fire Department has a lot of work ahead to get back to where we were,” Herndon said.

But he added that, “we will be even better and stronger than we were before the fire.

“The department itself may have been destroyed, but the bond= of brotherhood that existed before the fire has been forged ever stronger.”