Fire Department Pushed to Brink by Rowdy Celebration

Set Text Size SmallSet Text Size MediumSet Text Size LargeSet Text Size X-Large
Share
Updated: 4/06/2012 6:21 pm
One UK student is behind bars, charged with arson, as investigators try to identify more suspects.  Meanwhile, fire officials say the mayhem of the Final Four celebrations in Lexington pushed the city’s fire department to the brink.
 
Daebrion Hopwood, 19, a UK freshman from Elizabethtown has been charged with second degree arson, a felony, for his alleged involvement in a car fire on State Street after last Saturday’s win over arch-rival Louisville.
 
Investigators also released pictures of two other suspects in the car fire.  To see those images go to this web site:  www.idthisperson.com
 
There were 120 fires set between Saturday and Monday according to Lexington Battalion Chief Ed Davis.  Investigators are most concerned with the car fire and two garage fires, all on State Street, the epicenter of post game troubles.
 
Davis says the fires around the UK campus stretched the department thin, the worst period occurring for about a half hour after Monday night’s championship win over Kansas. 
 
"At one point in time there was no one single fire station in the city of Lexington that had a unit left inside of it,” Davis said Friday.
 
Lexington has 23 fire stations.  Davis says all on duty units were out of the stations.  That includes 22 engines, 12 ambulances, seven ladder trucks and the department’s heavy duty rescue truck.
 
"We were very close to being to our tipping point,” Davis said.
 
"Had we had a structure fire somewhere in Lexington at some body's home that was unrelated or at a business, we would have been in trouble, we would have been in serious trouble."
 
"Kids are going to be kids but you would have thought they would have been a little bit more cautious,” added Matt Howard, a fire investigator.
 
“That’s basically a bomb,” Davis said of the car a group set on fire Saturday night
 
“You can't just set something on fire that has an accelerant in it like that in the middle of a crowd. It's just completely unsafe and we will appropriately prosecute anything like that,” Davis explained.
 
The arson investigation is being conducted by the UK Police Department and the city’s fire department.  Social media has been a tool for detectives in their probe. 
 
 "You see a lot of individuals who like to brag about stuff and that's why we're able to start tracking things and make some connections,” said Joe Monroe, UK Police Chief.

Share
0 Comment(s)
Comments: Show | Hide

Here are the most recent story comments.View All

No comments yet!
Most Popular
UK Criticized For Not Notifying High School Students Of Controversial Guest Speaker
Teachers, students and parents from duPont Manual High School said they were outraged that the University of Kentucky didn't tell them that the guest speaker at their awards ceremony was a controversial write-in U.S. Senate candidate with an anti-Semitic platform. Video Video
iPhone Campers Evacuated, Mall Searched For Reported Armed Suspect
Lexington Police made campers for the newest iPhone leave their spots in line outside Fayette Mall Thursday night after reports of a man with a gun in the area. Video Video
School bookkeeper charged with embezzling funds
A former bookkeeper at Saint Gabriel the Archangel Church and School in Louisville has been charged with embezzling $83,191 in funds from the parish by means of wire fraud.
Louisville woman loses state fair blue ribbon
The Louisville woman whose prize-winning recipe for buttermilk pie featured a store-bought crust has lost her blue ribbon.
Former Kentucky Republican Leader Dies
Former Kentucky gubernatorial press secretary and congressional aide Larry Van Hoose has died in Florida. He was 76.
Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.
   

WTVQ.com supports children's privacy rights. All persons under the age of 13 MUST have parental permission to use this website and direct parental supervision is strongly recommended.