Boundary lines cause concern after fire near Louisville, St. Mat - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Boundary lines cause concern after fire near Louisville, St. Matthews border

Posted: Updated:
Over 50 firefighters responded to reports of a fire just after 4 a.m. Sunday. Over 50 firefighters responded to reports of a fire just after 4 a.m. Sunday.
Some of the firefighters had to be evacuated when part of the building collapsed. Some of the firefighters had to be evacuated when part of the building collapsed.
There are still questions about exactly what sparked a Sunday morning fire that set two St. Matthews businesses ablaze. There are still questions about exactly what sparked a Sunday morning fire that set two St. Matthews businesses ablaze.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Two Louisville businesses were destroyed by fire Sunday morning.

The department that responded to the blaze was nearly three miles away -- even though another fire house was just down the street.

"It's not like we're in a turf battle," said Louisville Fire Chief Gregory Frederick.

Frederick says it’s a complicated system -- like a jigsaw puzzle of borders and jurisdictions.

"It's not like a real clean line like you have with the river and Indiana," said Frederick.

Sunday morning's fire on Fairfax Avenue destroyed Super Chefs and Chef Maria's Greek Deli. When it was called in, a dispatcher entered it into the system.

"So that when you call and say 'there's a fire at this address' it automatically comes up with what department should respond to that," Frederick told WDRB.

A neighborhood boundary map shows the fire happened in Louisville, but just across the street from where St. Matthews begins.

Frederick said the call came in Sunday morning at 4:05 a.m., firefighters were dispatched at 4:06 a.m. and made it to the scene five minutes later.

The first crews to respond came from Frankfort Avenue about 2.5 miles away, even though first-responders in St. Matthews were only about a half mile away.

St. Matthews was never dispatched and Frederick says it wouldn't be unless they needed help. And it all boils down to taxes and districts.

"You live in a community and you send your fire truck into my area and then a fire breaks out a block away from the fire station, your question's gonna be 'why was my fire truck in somebody else's district?'" said Frederick.

"If there were lives involved every minute is important," said Indian Hills Mayor Tom Eifler.

Eifler has a business on the street where the fire happened and also used to serve on the St. Matthews fire board. He says it shouldn't be about taxes or turf wars.

"If you have a fire the most important thing is to get the wet stuff on the red stuff," said Eifler.

To him, having Louisville respond just doesn't make sense.

"You know I don't know what the issue is, I don't know if it's union vs. non-union, city vs. small cities. I don't have a clue what it is, but it's ridiculous because it could be life threatening."

St. Matthews Fire Chief William Seng did not want to go on camera but says because of the boundaries his department wasn't even notified.

Copyright 2016 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

  • Sign Up for WDRB's Sports Newsletter

    * denotes required fields

    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.