The Owensboro fire chief says lightning accompanying a storm likely caused a blaze that gutted the auditorium of a church in Owensboro and cut off power to the neighborhood, including Brescia University.
The fire started at about 3:30 CDT Monday and burned throughout the morning as firefighters poured more than 3,000 gallons of water a minute onto the First Christian Church Disciples of Christ Church. There were no injuries.
Fire Chief Steve Mitchell told the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer the attic above the church auditorium was engulfed in flames and it wasn't long before the roof collapsed.
Five nearby houses were evacuated. A power grid was shut down, cutting power to several blocks of homes and Brescia University.
With only two days left in this year's Kentucky General Assembly session, time is running out for supporters of legislation meant to keep two western Kentucky aluminum smelters—which employ about 3,000 people—from closing.
Under state law, the smelters are required to purchase electricity from the nearest company—Big Rivers Electric, in this case. The smelters say lower aluminum prices have them struggling to pay the bills; they're asking for more options for where they get electricity.
Their legislative supporters want to let the smelters purchase electricity on the open market.
Opponents argue that giving the smelters lower rates or open market options would increase prices for the average customer.
No life-threatening injuries are reported following a bus crash in Tennessee involving students from an Owensboro college. Members of the Kentucky Wesleyan Singers and Chamber Singers were aboard the charter bus that went over a small hill beside a road in Signal Mountain, Tennessee, late Sunday night.
A Chattanooga TV station reports 22 people were taken to hospitals.
A Kentucky Wesleyan College spokeswoman told WKU Public Radio the rest of the group’s week-long tour has been cancelled following the accident. The singers began their tour with stops in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, Nashville and Signal Mountain, Tennessee. They were on their way to sing in Atlanta when the bus accident occurred.