Fire displaces Bell Gardens residents


What was originally reported a dumpster fire spread to an assisted living facility in Hillsboro that had to evacuate all its residents late Wednesday morning.

Paint Creek Joint Fire/EMS District Lt. Sarah Cayse said the district was dispatched to what was originally reported as a dumpster fire but spread to Trustwell Living at Bell Gardens Place at 251 Harry Sauner Rd. at 11:33 a.m. She said the fire was primarily contained to the facility’s kitchen area and the exterior of the building.

All Bell Gardens residents were displaced until repairs can be completed, Cayse said. She added that the facility, along with the Highland County Health Department and Fayette County Emergency Management Agency, were working to find residents a place to stay whether that was with family members or another Trustwell Living facility.

The state fire marshal was on the way to scene to help with the investigation, Cayse said around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

One Bell Gardens resident was transported by Paint Creek to Highland District Hospital in Hillsboro sometime Wednesday after the original incident. Cayse said she was not sure why the resident was transported.

The Hillsboro City Schools provided two buses to help evacuate the residents, and neighboring Peace Lutheran Church at 231 Harry Sauner Road provided a temporary place for the residents to stay.

“The church was awesome and opened its doors for us,” Cayse said.

She also said that Hillsboro police officers and U.S. Army recruiters were helping evacuate residents before Paint Creek arrived on the scene. There were additionally more than 30 firefighters on the scene.

Harry Sauner Road was closed and Cayse said emergency officials were working to open it as soon as possible.

The Highland County North Joint Fire & Ambulance District, Lynchburg Area Joint Fire & Ambulance District, Southern Highland Joint Fire District, Brushcreek Township Volunteer Fire Department and Clinton-Highland Joint Fire District in New Vienna all responded to the scene.

Trustwell Living or Bell Gardens place could not be immediately reached for comment.

Cayse said Bell Gardens is temporarily closed.

“Dispatch received over 20 911 calls, so thanks to the community,” Cayse said.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.

No posts to display