A man was injured and his dog was killed in a Feb. 8 fire at Econo-Self Storage in Lexington, Ky. The blaze began around 2 p.m. at the property at 121 James Court and destroyed 27 storage units in two buildings.
The man was working on a motorcycle inside his storage unit with his 4-year-old Rottweiler, Roxie Jo, according to several sources. He was using a kerosene heater.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but firefighters believe it may have started near the man’s storage unit. Flames shot 20 feet high and one building partially collapsed. Fire crews had the blaze under control in about half an hour.
Neighbors also reported hearing several booms. Firefighters believe small-arms ammunition may have gone off during the blaze.
“It sounded like it was some kind of plastic barrels that were exploding. That happened for quite a while. Started sounding like popcorn; it was happening frequently,” said Joel Campbell, who works nearby.
Mary Gaucim, the manager who lives onsite in a detached home, reported the injured man banged on her door. "I just hear this guy running and knocking on the door really hard, and I look and he's all burned and on fire. Like his head, his face was so burned, and his hands," she said.
Connie Hankin, the mother-in-law of the burn victim, to whom she referred as “Justin,” told a source he was taken to Albert B. Chandler Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Econo-Self Storage was in the news in 2014 when the mummified remains of Luther Broughton were discovered by federal investigators. Prosecutors claim his daughter, Judith Broughton, rented the unit to conceal her father’s death and continue to collect his Social Security benefits. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to repay $245,000 in benefits stolen after her father’s death in 1990.
- Lex18.com: Man Burned, Dog Dead, In Storage Center Fire
- Lexington Herald Leader: One Person Injured, Dog Killed in Storage-Building Fire in Lexington
- WTVQ: Fire Damages Storage Buildings; Man Hurt, Dog Dies