By DEAN MANNING
For The Mountain Advocate
Kentucky State Police have arrested a Corbin man for arson.
Kentucky State Police were called out Monday to investigate an explosion and subsequent fire that destroyed a home in Gray Monday night.
West Knox Fire Chief Daryl Baker said firefighters were at the station training when they were paged out at 7:41 p.m. to the structure fire off of KY 3436. The first units arrived in less than two minutes.
“Bystanders said there was an explosion,” Baker said. “It was fully involved and already starting to fall when we got there.”
Neighbors told firefighters that no one was inside but that someone had been there working on the on-going remodeling project about 45 minutes to an hour prior to the 911 call being made.
Baker said firefighters needed approximately 30 minutes to knock down the flames and worked until 9:45 p.m. to fully extinguish the fire.
While firefighters did not report finding anything that led them to suspect arson, Baker said there is a large amount of traffic in an out of the neighboring Copes Market, leaving him to wonder why the fire had such a head start.
“It is very odd,” Baker said.
In addition, Baker said no one claiming to be the owner came to the scene. Damage has been estimated at $50,000.
“We have no idea what caused the explosion,” Baker said.
Tuesday afternoon Trooper Gregory arrested Christopher Wyatt, 28, of Corbin. Wyatt is charged with third degree arson, which can carry a sentence of one to five years in prison.
Wyatt is lodged in the Knox County Detention Center.
Trooper Gregory is continuing the investigation.