Investigators ruled out foul play in the blaze that destroyed two homes on College Street early Thursday morning.
It may be weeks before they know exactly what started the fire, due to the amount of rubble at the scene.
Winchester Fire-EMS¿arson investigator Maj. Greg Beam said an arson dog did not find any evidence of accelerants when it examined the scene Thursday morning.
“We have no reason to suspect foul play,” Beam said.
Determining anything more than that will take time. No accidental causes have been eliminated, from candles to electrical problems, he said. Since the scene covers two houses that were destroyed, there is three to four feet of debris covering everything, he said. Investigators are also waiting on items that were sent off to be tested. Those tests could take a couple weeks to complete.
“Right now, we can’t get to where we need to get to and see what we need to see,” Beam said. “We’re looking at everything now.”
Both homes at 128 and 130 College St. were unoccupied when the fires were reported at 2:32 a.m.
Thursday by Winchester Police Officer Mike Keffer. The house at 128 College St. is owned by Wells Fargo Bank, Winchester Fire-EMS¿fire marshal Rob Carmichael said. The other is owned by Loretta Spencer. Beam said Spencer was staying at a relative’s house because she had been having electrical problems at her home.
Beam said the fire started in Spencer’s home, based on witness statements, and spread into 128 College St. The electricity was previously disconnected from 128 College St., Beam said.
The heat from the fire also melted some of the siding on a neighboring house at 124 College St.
Firefighters from Winchester, Clark County and Lexington fire departments spent more than five hours fighting the blaze Thursday morning with a couple dozen firefighters. After the fire was extinguished,
Beam requested the arson dog from Scott County to examine the scene as well.
Contact Fred Petke at email@example.com.