Two fires within an hour of each other and less than a block away made Henderson homeowners and officials suspicious. Now, a Louisville man is in custody in connection with igniting a vacant home and a trailer.
38-year old Jeffrey Lucas is in the Henderson county jail without bond, accused of second-degree arson in connection with those fires.
“It was just a wild incident man. It really was.”
Next door neighbor Timothy Cansler says he could hardly believe what took place around Washington and Julia streets Monday afternoon.
“My mom got to sayin’ there’s smoke everywhere. So I went next door. She said the house is on fire next door. I ran outside and there’s a guy with a smartphone camera filming the house. The house is literally just in smoke.”
When first responders arrived to the scene, they soon noticed something from a trailer down the street.
“Heavy smoke–black smoke from that location,” recalled Captain Brad Mattingly with the Henderson Fire Department.
Now–firefighters were faced with the challenge of two active scenes.
“In the event of those fires, we always call in a crew for standby,” he added. “It was definitely one of the most taxing days we’ve had to have two fires going on at the same time.”
Cansler continued, “When the trailer caught on fire, we noticed him down by second street. I’m telling the fire department, ‘Hey, that’s the guy right there we keep seeing in the neighborhood, he seems kinda suspicious.’ By the end we took off running down the road and I caught him in the back of somebody’s yard.”
Police say–thanks to Timothy and help from the neighborhood–they were able to arrest Jeffrey Lucas, who they believe recently came to the Tri-State from Louisville.
“We think that he was homeless in Henderson, that’s correct. And he was not in Henderson for very long,” Lt. Jason Hargitt of the Henderson Police Department stated.
As for Timothy, he thinks the situation could’ve been much worse than what actually happened.
“We don’t get why they’re going around burning down houses. It definitely makes the neighborhood unsafe. There’s a gas main over there too. It could’ve blew up anything.”
Why Lucas may have lit those fires remains unclear. He’ll have his chance to plead his case in court on May 16.