UPDATE: Victim identified in Saturday's deadly Jeffersontown fire
JEFFERSONTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) –- One man is dead and a firefighter is injured after a fire at the Regency Three Condominiums building near Taylorsville and Janlyn Roads in Jeffersontown on Saturday morning.
Williams Fredrick Pipas, 61, was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:39 a.m. The coroner's office says he died of smoke inhalation, and it was an accident.
“Horrid. Horrible way to die,” said Melissa Holbert, who lived in the building next to Pipas.
The fire started around 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Firefighters were still on scene hours later putting out hot spots and investigating.
Neighbors like Holbert said confusion ensued as to where the flames actually started because there are a few apartment buildings in the area.
“I have a mother and a granddaughter that lives here so I was afraid that it might have been our building,” Holbert said.
Twenty-eight firefighters had to break through a back fence and the roof of the building.
“The fire attack went pretty smooth, and crews were able to get up there really quick and actually get a quick knock down on the fire,” Jeffersontown Fire Chief Sean Dreisbach said.
The fire was contained to just the one unit, but surrounding units had smoke and water damage. Chief Dreisbach said 19 people who live in the building were displaced after the fire, but more than half were back in their homes Saturday night.
While inside, one firefighter received minor burns from falling debris.
“You hear and you see this on the news all the time ... never this close to home,” Holbert said.
She said she’ll be holding her family a little closer after the fire scare.
“Definitely. That's all I got. Granddaughter and momma and son, but that’s all I got,” Holbert said.
An arson investigation has started. Officials say they don't know if a smoke detector was inside because there was too much damage to tell. They also say the fire is a good reminder to change the batteries in all smoke detectors.
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