Burned building was home to Rand Paul’s office

Published 3:38 pm Monday, July 24, 2023

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A large commercial office building on State Street in downtown Bowling Green, which includes the offices of U.S. Senator Rand Paul, was heavily damaged by fire early Friday morning.

The fire, which began around 1:45 a.m. (CDT), resulted in a massive response by the Bowling Green Fire Department. Spokesperson Katie McKee told the Bowling Green Daily News that nine units and 31 firefighters responded to the scene, plus two deputy chiefs and Bowling Green Fire Chief Justin Brooks.

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McKee could not confirm where in the building the fire first began or the cause, but said it is under investigation by BGFD.

“Typically, we can go into structures and kind of get an idea of where it started, but we haven’t been able to go inside that building at all,” she told the newspaper. “We truly have no idea where it could have started.”

While no damage estimate is yet available, McKee said the structure no longer has a roof, confirming that it had collapsed.

Bowling Green Municipal Utilities assisted BGFD in the fight. McKee said BGMU upped water pressures on main lines and shut off sprinkler systems to lend more strength to firefighters’ hoses.

According to Warren County Property Value Administration data, the building was constructed in 1900, and was the longtime home of Bowling Green’s local music store, Royal Music Co., until the business moved to Fairview Avenue in 2011.

When contacted by the Bowling Green Daily News for comment, Paul responded, “We are thankful for the Bowling Green first responders who arrived quickly to the scene to put out the fire and are continuing to work with authorities to assess damages and to determine a cause. We have a very well-established emergency management plan and have the ability to continue operations that will not impact our work helping Kentuckians.”

No injuries were reported.