Fire damages logging equipment

Kentucky State Police are investigating fires which allegedly destroyed approximately $1 million worth of equipment belonging to a logging company on Monday.

KSP Public Information Officer Shane Jacobs verified Det. Josh Bunch has begun an arson investigation in the case.

Forest Products Inc. owner Denny Cornett advised he received notification there was a fire involving his equipment at approximately 2 a.m. on Monday.

“We were working in the Coldiron community,” Cornett said. “There were five pieces of equipment involved, roughly $1 million worth (of equipment).”

According to Cornett, two John Deere dozers, a John Deere excavator, a CAT knuckle boom loader/processor and a John Deere grapple/skidder were a total loss.

“It was definitely done by somebody that knew what they were doing,” Cornett said.

Cornett said he met Kentucky State Police personnel at the scene of the fire.

“According to the person that reported the fire, he saw it burning at about 9 p.m.,” Cornett said. “I got to the site at about 3 a.m. and met the Kentucky State Police there. When we got there some of it was still quite a bit involved in fire, but it was already pretty much a total loss for everything.”

Cornett said he wants to do everything possible to find who started the fire. He said he has been in the timber business for 33 years and this is the first fire he’s had to deal with.

The fire has caused the job to come to a halt temporarily, according to Cornett.

“I’m completely out of work, as well as eight employees,” Cornett said. “It’s not just me and my family this affects, it’s also my employees and their families.”

Cornett said he hopes to have his crew back to work soon.

“I hope to be up and running in a week or two, if I can find the equipment,” Cornett said. “As far as being back to normal, it could take months.”

Cornett said there is a reward for information leading to an arrest. Anybody with information concerning the incident should contact Kentucky State Police Post 10 at 606-573-3131.