Fire damages Kitts Hill Post Office

Published 10:25 am Monday, September 30, 2013

KITTS HILL — A fire in the building that houses the Kitts Hill Post Office destroyed much of an apartment in the rear of the structure Sunday, but fire officials don’t believe anyone’s mail was damaged.

David Van Allen, United States Postal Service communications coordinator, said while the Kitts Hill location is temporarily closed, all mail for residents in that postal district would be routed to the Ironton Post Office.

Four departments, more than three dozens firefighters and at least nine trucks were on the scene for several hours battling the blaze in the small building that sits along State Route 141.

The call came in around 2 p.m. The Lawrence Township Volunteer Fire Department was on the scene just a few minutes later.

“When the fire was discovered, the apartment in the back was freely burning. That means nothing was slowing it down,” said Fire Chief Phil Hardy. “At this point, we have no idea what started the fire. We called for assistance a little quicker than normal because the fire school in South Point is going on and some of the guys are there.”

The Upper, Fayette and Coal Grove volunteer fire departments provided mutual aid. Lawrence County Emergency Medical Services, the Ohio State Highway Patrol and American Electric Power were also on the scene.

The fire was mostly contained in the rear apartment, which suffered significant damage. The post office itself suffered considerable smoke damage and minor water damage, Hardy said.

No one was injured and authorities were working Sunday to determine who lived in the apartment.

Kathleen Patrick, regional supervisor for the United States Postal Service, said the state fire marshal is en route to Lawrence County and more information will become available as the investigation continues.

The property owner, Patrick said, is Dr. Tony K. and Mary Virgin and the USPS has been in that location since October of 1955.