HAZARD- On Thursday, the investigation of the Grand Hotel fire commenced when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) arrived on Main Street in Hazard. The rendering of information regarding the fire will be executed by a joint investigation lead by the ATF, Kentucky State Fire Marshals, the Hazard Police Department, and the Hazard Fire Department. As of Thursday, a crane had been brought in on the back side of the building to remove the larger pieces of debris, enabling the team to access the smaller pieces to conduct their investigation.
Kim Riddell, a special agent with the ATF, tells us in spite of rumors or speculation as to what may have caused the fire, the investigative team is going into this with no preconceived notions.
Kim explains, “We have a number of agents alongside local investigators with the police department and fire marshals office that are conducting interviews in the community, so as many people as you see here (on scene), there are that many more out in the community conducting interviews because were going to put all the pieces together and try to figure out what exactly happened here. We want to bring Hazard back whole from this, and give you some answers if we can.”
Erin Joseph can be reached at 606-436-5771 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.