Fire Consumes Downtown Block of Tennessee’s Johnson City

April 15, 2009

A large fire destroyed much of a city block in downtown Johnson City, Tenn.

No injuries were immediately reported in the fire that broke out Monday night. But firefighters were still waiting to fully search the site for any possible victims.

The Johnson City Press reported that a 23-unit apartment complex on the block was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived, so they concentrated on protecting adjacent buildings from damage.

The apartment complex collapsed and three nearby houses also burned.

The adjacent Restonic Mattress factory suffered some exterior damage.

Apartment complex owner Marvin Carter said he was renovating the building and was surprised a blaze broke out there, because they had no electricity.

“When I pulled out of my driveway in North Johnson City, I could see the glow in the sky,” Assistant Fire Chief Mark Finucane said.

The fire department asked the Johnson City Power Board to cut power to the area, including street lights and traffic lights, because the heat was melting coating on power lines. Some street light poles were on fire for a time.

The department called in off-duty personnel and put a reserve engine into service.


Information from: Johnson City Press,

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