Crews still watching hot spots at Depot St. fire

By: Conroy Delouche Email
By: Conroy Delouche Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A massive downtown fire is still smoldering under the watchful eyes of firefighters.

They spent most of the night making sure the fire didn't flare up again.

The fire broke out Wednesday night at the former Industrial Belting and Supply building on Depot Street. It took fire crews more than 280,000 gallons of water and two hours to knock the fire down.

They're still cutting through the materials and spraying hot spots to make sure the flames don't spark up again.

American Refrigeration is right behind the burned down building. Owner John Tullos got a call and rushed to the area to make sure his business was okay.

"I just feel fortunate it didn't burn my building down," said John Tullos. "At first I was (worried), until I got down here and realized the fire was all under control. It wasn't spreading, there was a fire truck between my building and the fire itself, so I knew it was pretty safe."

His business was safe thanks to firefighters.

"Firefighters advanced hose lines inside and when you're fighting fire you wanna push the fire back to the most burned portion, which is what they did," said Captain DJ Corcoran with the Knoxville Fire Department.

KFD stayed through the night to keep an eye on things and put out hot spots. Once daylight broke, they cut through the collapsed roof

"So they're having to chop through that and get water underneath to some of the material that's burning underneath," said Corcoran.

This fire reminded people about the McClung Warehouse fire just six years ago. Captain Corcoran says the big difference was that was a six-story inferno, whereas this was contained to a single floor.

But the huge clouds of smoke covering downtown Knoxville were certainly similar.

The city says they are doing their part to make sure the streets get cleared, but the building clean-up is up to the owner.

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