Early morning fire at Wickland estate investigated as possible arson

The two-story home located behind the Wickland mansion suffered extensive damage in a fire Friday morning that is being investigated as possible arson. The home was originally built circa 1817 as slave quarters. Photo submitted.



Friday, July 21, 2017, 11 a.m. (Corrected info about the home, 6 p.m.) — A two-story home on the historic Wickland estate adjacent to the mansion was severely damaged by a fire reported early Friday morning.

At about 12:35 a.m., the Bardstown Fire Department was dispatched for a report of a structure fire with flames showing on the Wickland estate. Police were first on the scene and confirmed the smaller home at the rear of the main house was on fire.

Firefighters fought the fire for more than three hours and then spent considerable time locating and extinguishing hot spots in the structure. City firefighters were joined by manpower from the Nelson County Fire Department to fight the fire. Firefighters contained the blaze to the smaller home, and the Wickland mansion suffered no damage.

The home — owned currently by Nelson County government — was originally slave quarters whose construction dates back to 1817, according to the Library of Congress. Nelson County PVA records indicate the home has 2,320 square feet of living space.

The smaller two-story home — originally built as slave quarters — adjacent to the Wickland mansion was damaged Friday morning by a fire that is being investigated as arson. Click to enlarge. Photo submitted.

Judge Executive Dean Watts said Friday morning that he appreciated the efforts of both the city and county firefighters to fight the blaze.

“I’m so grateful that no one was hurt in this morning’s fire at the small home at Wickland,” he said. “We will evaluate the situation and determine if repair and renovation is an option.”

Firefighters left but were called back to Wickland at about 8:15 a.m. to extinguish some hot spots that ignited.

A arson investigation team from Scott County arrived at the fire scene Friday morning to assist with an examination to determine the cause of the fire. City firefighters were still at the fire scene as of mid-morning Friday.


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