Member Login

Highway Avenue Flooded with Fire Trucks as Tower Full of Seniors Catches Fire

A parade of fire trucks from multiple jurisdictions converged on Highway Avenue in Covington to create a massive response effort following reports of fire at a residential tower for seniors.

Hathaway Court Apartments was evacuated as units from Covington, Cincinnati, Newport, and other cities crowded this section of Kentucky Route 8 that snakes along the Ohio River through West Covington to Ludlow. 

Though the magnitude of the response - between 15 to 20 fire trucks, ambulances, and police cruisers - gave the impression that something far more serious was taking place, the residents and responders were fortunate to battle flames only in one unit on the building's ninth floor. A woman who lived in the unit may have started the fire while cooking. She was rescued by a neighbor and then Covington firefighters before being transported from the scene.

The level of response - the scene also included Cincinnati Police officers - was likely in preparation for a more serious fire and/or evacuation. The scene swelled at around 11:30 p.m. Monday as Cincinnati responders rushed over the Brent Spence Bridge and Kentucky firefighters raced up I-75. By midnight, it started to dissipate as units returned to their firehouses.

Hathaway Court apartments caters to senior residents 62 years and older, or disabled residents, according to its website. The building is made up of efficiency and 1-bedroom units and overlooks the Cincinnati skyline.

Plans for the building began in 1969 and resulted in the purchase and demolition of the historic Hathaway Hall, an 1830's mansion that was named for its original owner, Reverend Henry Hathaway, a well-known opponent of slavery whose sprawling estate is believed to have been part of the Underground Railroad that assisted in the escape of runaway slaves. The Kenton County Public Library has a brief history of the site here and an image of the home during demolition here.

An aerial view of the Hathaway site can be seen here and an image of its construction in 1973 is here.

Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher

Slideshow Images & Captions: