Jan. 31 fire destroys the home of a family of 12

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By Brent Schanding

Landmark News Service

Fire ravaged the home a Campbellsburg family early Thursday morning and sent two volunteer firefighters to the hospital.

Emergency responders received the call of a house fire at 288 Fewell Road, around 3:53 a.m. Thursday, Post 5 dispatchers said. Neighbors awoke to what they described as "shotgun" like explosions.

Three volunteer fire crews from Campbellsburg, New Castle and Bedford battled the blaze for at least an hour before they were able to control it, according to reports from emergency officials.

"They stayed out there for another two or three hours knocking out the hotspots," Campbellsburg Fire Chief David Noe said. "But by the time we got the call, there was heavy fire on the right end of the house."

The fire, which reportedly started in the basement, completely destroyed the ranch-style home. The garage and some of its rooms were salvaged, Noe said.

Homeowner Richard Ayres, his wife and nine of their 10 children, were reportedly sleeping in the house when the fire broke out.

None were severely injured, Noe said, but one person suffered minor burns and injuries. The family has been staying with a family member in the area.

Two Campbellsburg firefighters also sustained non life-threatening injuries.

One slipped on ice, Noe said, as crews worked in below-freezing temperatures to control the fire.

Another firefighter inhaled smoke as gusting winds changed directions. Both firefighters were transported to Baptist Hospital Northeast in La Grange, where they were treated and later released.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, Noe said. Arson is not suspected.

Knights of Columbus Council, a Catholic fraternal organization, is accepting cash or gift certificate donations for the Ayres family.

Checks may be made payable to: Knights of Columbus #13304, FBO Ayres Family. Checks should be mailed: to K of C-Father Diersen Council, P.O. Box 692, La Grange, Ky. 40031.

At this time the family does not need clothes thanks to generous donations, Knights of Columbus spokesman Norm Pallarito said.

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