UPDATE: Kentucky Senator-elect Johnnie Turner’s building burns in Harlan, 22-year-old man charged

Published: Nov. 28, 2020 at 5:25 PM EST
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Update 11/29/2020 9:50 p.m.:

On Saturday night, emergency crews responded to a building fire in downtown Harlan inside a structure owned by Kentucky Senator-elect Johnnie Turner.

“I got a phone call from one of the ladies that rents up there who said that the two boys were fighting and he was threatening to burn the place down,” Turner said.

Lieutenant Mitchell Alford with the Harlan Police said 22-year-old Adam Mills purposely set fire to the building and then told everyone inside to get out.

“From what we gathered, he left as soon as he got back to his apartment, got gas, came back to the apartment, poured the gas (and) set it on fire,” Alford said.

As police chased after Mills, two officers helped everyone inside get out.

“In my opinion, they both showed you know, extreme risk to theirselves and done a great job,” Alford said.

Turner said he is thankful that the outcome was not any worse.

“It’s just so tragic, I mean that building’s gone but thank God that nobody got hurt, that’s all that matters to me,” Turner said.

Update 11/28/2020 10:24 p.m.:

According to the investigation report, the Harlan Police Department received a complaint about the two brothers arguing on Saturday.

Andrew Mills, brother to Adam Mills, told a deputy at the Harlan Police Department that his brother had was making threats to burn the apartment down.

Officers said Adam Mills went to a gas station and filled two water bottles with gas after a disagreement with his landlord KY Senator-elect Johnnie L. Turner. Police said Mills poured gas around his apartment and set a blanket on fire.

After Mills was found leaving the building by police, he ran away. When the deputy tried to stop him, he continued to run.

The deputy then saw smoke coming from Johnnie L. Turner’s building. The deputy was able to get inside and warn people with enough time to get out safely.

The deputy was taken to Harlan ARH from inhaling smoke. He was treated and is now doing well.

Adam Mills was later caught running by the Harlan Independent School by a Lieutenant with the Harlan Police Department and arrested.

Update 11/28/2020 8:22 p.m.:

HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Police charged 22-year-old Adam Mills with first-degree arson, first-degree wanton endangerment and first-degree fleeing or evading police on foot.

As of Saturday evening, no bond has been set.

Update 11/28/2020 6:51 p.m.:

We have learned that the building on fire is owned by KY Senator-elect Johnnie L. Turner.

Everyone in the building got out safe, but officials are still working to put out the fire.

Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley said in a Facebook post that fire departments over the jurisdictional boundaries are also helping to extinguish the fire.

Thankful for men and women in our fire department and first responder community who could care less about jurisdictional...

Posted by Dan Mosley on Saturday, November 28, 2020

Update 11/28/2020 5:41 p.m.:

Officials with Harlan City Police told WYMT that officers with the city police department arrested 22-year-old Adam Mills of Harlan.

Officials say Mills will be taken to the Harlan County Detention Center.

We will update this story as we learn more information.

Original Story:

A fire broke out at a building on First Street in Harlan across from the Harlan County Courthouse on Saturday afternoon.

The Harlan Police Department, Harlan Fire Department, Harlan County Sheriff’s Office, and Sunshine Fire Department are on the scene.

You can see the scene in the post below, courtesy of Doug White.

The cause of the fire remains unknown at this time.

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