Cause under investigation after fire consumes Rand Paul's Kentucky Senate office

July 22, 2023
Jen Krausz

Investigators are still working to determine the cause of a fire that destroyed the Bowling Green, Kentucky senatorial office of Rand Paul (R-KY) on Friday, the Associate Press reported.

The building, which housed Paul's offices, a law firm, and a custom T-shirt business, was heavily damaged by the fire, which broke out just before 2 a.m., but no one was hurt in the blaze.

The Bowling Green Daily News reported that nine fire company units worked to put out the blaze, and aerial means were also used to try to extinguish it from above.

The fire caused the building's roof to collapse, and what's inside seems like it will be a total loss.

"Thankful" for first responders

Efforts to control the fire continued through much of the day, with firefighters watching for hot spots that could reignite.

“We are thankful for the Bowling Green first responders who arrived quickly to the scene to put out the fire, and are continuing to work with authorities to assess damages and to determine a cause,” Paul said in a written statement. “We have a very well established emergency management plan and have the ability to continue operations that will not impact our work helping Kentuckians.”

The law firm said that it was putting a continuity plan in place and that its files were backed up to servers off site.

The firm also said it was overwhelmed by the community's support and added, “While we have suffered an immense loss, we will recover and persevere.”

Mission Barbecue provided lunch for the crews, and coolers of Gatorade were also brought to the site by community members.

"No idea where" fire started

Public information officer of the Bowling Green Fire Department Katie Green said that the fire was not typical because the department could not readily determine where the fire started.

“Typically we can go into structures and kind of get an idea of where it started, but we haven’t been able to go inside that building at all,” McKee said. “We truly have no idea where it could have started.”

It was an older building, built in 1900, which may have impacted the way the fire burned and spread.

It housed several businesses throughout its history, including a music store, hardware store, and livery and stable company.

"It’s just terrible because of the historical significance of it,” McKee said about the fire.

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