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Local Landmark Lost

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Arson suspected in Campbellsburg depot fire

By Cindy DiFazio

Staff writer/photographer

One of the last remaining historic Campbellsburg buildings is gone.

The old L&N train depot in Campbellsburg burned to the ground early Monday, Oct. 26. The building was one of the few that survived a tornado in 1974 that levelled most of the town’s older buildings.

Kentucky State Police Public Affairs Officer Trooper Seth Willis said the 911 call came into Post 5 at approximately 12:30 a.m.

City Clerk Tish Tindall arrived on the scene around 1 a.m. after mayor Jan Fletcher phoned her about the fire.

“It was fully engulfed,” she said. “It just makes me sick. It was such a piece of history. It stood for Campbellsburg.”

Tindall said the heat from the blaze cracked the front windows of city hall and Cook’s Pharmacy.

The Campbellsburg Fire Department was called back in when the fire re-ignited throughout the day on Monday.

Henry County Sheriff’s Detective Danny Stivers is working the case.

Stivers said the fire is suspicious. “In my years of experience you eliminate things,” he said. “There was no electric to the building, no thunderstorms.”

The building was used for storage by owner Merle Brewer.

“Nobody knew for sure what was in there,” he said, “with stuff being carried in and carried out.”

Stivers said he knew there were five-gallon buckets of paint and tires stored inside as well as new farm gates and a grader blade.

Tindall said the city has been interested in buying and restoring the old train depot which was built around 1897.  “We’d been talking to Merle,” she said. “I started looking into getting grants. The city wanted to get and do something with it.”

Willis said the investigation was turned over to the state fire marshall. Although Assistant Fire Marshall Jack Flowers would not discuss details, including basic facts about the fire, he said several agencies are investigating.

Tindall was saddened by the loss of Campbellsburg’s oldest building.

On Monday afternoon she said she saw an eerie sight.

“A train was coming through town,” she said, “and I could see it through the flames and realized there was nothing there now.”

Campbellsburg Fire Department was assisted by New Castle and LaGrange departments.

 

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