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April 2, 2014

Fire which led to Hill’s death ruled arson

Authorities seeking new information

REVELO —  More than seven months have passed since the August house fire which led to the death of Whitley City Fire Lt. Arlie “Pooh” Hill III.

    Last Wednesday, the Kentucky State Police announced that the fire has been ruled an arson but Trooper Lloyd Cochran, Post 11 Public Information Officer, could not comment yesterday on evidence related to the open investigation.

    Trp. Cochran said there have been no new developments since the announcement.

    The fire occurred the night of August 30 at a vacant house on Water Plant Road. Hill lived in the neighborhood, as did his brother-in-law and fellow firefighter Lt. Adam Stephens.

    Knowing that the family who was in the process of moving out included a small child, the men rushed to see if anyone was trapped when they noticed smoke from the home.

    Hill was the first inside, getting caught in a “flashover” or burst of flame created by an influx of oxygen. Stephens pulled his brother-in-law to safety, but Hill suffered second- and third-degree burns over more than 90 percent of his body.

    Hill’s battle to recover in the University of Cincinnati Medical Center burn unit garnered national attention as family, friends and fellow firefighters kept constant vigil. He fought for two months before succumbing to his injuries on October 27, less than two weeks shy of his 38th birthday.

    Emergency responders from Cincinnati to Whitley City lined the roads as Hill’s body was escorted back home to McCreary County.

    Arson Investigator Detective Brian Lewis continues to follow up on leads, Cochran stated.

     An arrest could lead to charges relating to Hill’s death.

     Anyone with information regarding this case should call KSP at 1-606-878-6622. Any suspicious fire can be reported to that number as well as the Arson Hotline (1-800-27-ARSON).

    Following last week’s announcement, the Whitley City Fire Department released a statement also urging those with information regarding the Hill case or any suspected arson to report it.

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Hatfield Lane 22 marijuana plants

The McCreary County Sheriff’s Office seized a total of 22 marijuana plants Saturday evening from a residence on Hatfield Lane in Whitley City. That case will be presented to the grand jury, but three individuals encountered during the investigation were arrested on unrelated charges.

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