INVESTIGATORS: Blue Grass Stockyards fire was an accident - WDRB 41 Louisville News

INVESTIGATORS: Blue Grass Stockyards fire was an accident

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Photo courtesy: The Lexington Fire Department Photo courtesy: The Lexington Fire Department

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Investigators have determined that a fire that destroyed the Blue Grass Stockyards complex in Lexington last month was an accident, "and not the result of any criminal intent or conduct," according to a news release from Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government.

No one was hurt in the massive fire that destroyed seven acres of a beef cattle auction company and several nearby businesses on Jan. 30.

"The preliminary investigation indicates the fire was started accidentally by construction workers who [were] working on the Stockyards' roof, according to investigators," the news release states. "A construction worker was using a circular saw to cut metal roofing, which generated sparks that ignited combustible materials."

The two-week preliminary investigation was a joint effort of the Fire Department and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Interim Fire Chief Harold Hoskins called the fire the largest he has handled in his 33-year career, the news release indicates. Approximately 120 firefighters fought the three-alarm blaze.

After the fire started, it spread to adjacent property and buildings.

"In addition to the Bluegrass Stockyards, the fire affected or destroyed buildings and property belonging to Leak Eliminators, Viking Wholesale and Slim's Towing and several other businesses," the news release states. "The fire destroyed 184 vehicles and killed 49 head of cattle. Damage reports are expected to be updated prior to the issuance of the finalized report in early spring."

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