New Developments in the McClung Warehouse Fire Investigation

By: Whitney Daniel
By: Whitney Daniel

Knoxville (WVLT) - We're learning more about the direction of the investigation into the cause of the McClung Warehouse fire in downtown Knoxville two weeks ago.

Volunteer TV's Whitney Daniel takes an in-depth look into the ongoing investigation.

WVLT received a subpeona Wednesday from the investigators asking for all of our raw video from the fire scene on February 7th.

Already, they're concentrating efforts on certain areas, based on some of the footage they've seen but they want more so they don't overlook anything.

They hope to get another view of where the fire started and how it progressed.

The cause could range from an accidental fire from a heating source to arson.

Nothing's being ruled out yet.

The fire department is following up on statements made in the media by building owner, Mark Seroff, who said he heard footsteps and voices the night of the fire.

Captain Darrell Whitaker with the Knoxville Fire Department says, "That alone is reason enough for us to suspect the possiblity of arson."

They also hope raw video footage they collect will help point them in the right direction.

"It's very important that we get as much raw footage as possible, because so much of the building was destroyed, it's going to be impossible to find out exactly what took place," says Whitaker.

The subpeona WVLT received states investigators, quote: "have reason to believe that a criminal offense has been committed or is being committed".

It goes on to define that criminal act as: "aggravated arson," "aggravated" because four firefighters were injured while fighting the fire.

"If we find someone guilty of that, or guilty of arson, we would certainly charge them of aggravated arson also," says Whitaker.

Investigators have been following up on outside leads while the site is closed for testing.

But by the end of the week, they hope to get back on site and get into the middle of all the ruble, searching for clues.

"As ruble is removed, investigators will be looking at that ruble piece by piece to see if they can see any evidence that will help them in determining the cause of this fire," says Whitaker.

Wednesday, investigators received the final report from the independant firm hired by T-DEC to determine if the ruble contained contaminants and how the contractor should dispose of it.

That's the first step in finding out what caused a fire that's sparking so many questions.

When investigators get back on site this week, they will sort through the ruble layer by layer, hoping the piled ruble may have preserved some evidence.


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