Fire destroys garage, work building
By Wes Wade | (email@example.com)
A garage and workshop building outside a Friendsville residence was completely destroyed after the structure caught fire Friday night.
Blount County Fire Chief Doug McClanahan said the department received a call that heavy flames were coming from structure, located at 852 Summer Hill Court, and firefighters responded to the blaze at 9:47 p.m. They arrived just before 10 p.m. to find the structure about 30 percent enveloped in flames. Fortunately the shop was connected to the house via a breezeway, which allowed firefighters to keep the fire from spreading to the main residence, said firefighter James Gaddis.
“It was a wood shop and an office, then you had the breezeway that went into the house,” Gaddis said. “We got it knocked off right before it got to the breezeway to stop it from getting to the house.”
The structure and everything inside, including a 2000 Chevrolet Silverado pickup, were considered a total loss. While most of the walls still remained, all the rafters had been destroyed and the entire roof had collapsed and burned up in the blaze, Gaddis said.
“It was just a big shell is all it was,” he said.
Firefighters aren’t sure what caused the fire, which is under investigation. A neighbor reported hearing a loud boom before noticing the flames, but Gaddis said that’s not necessarily related to the start of the blaze.
There were no hydrants in the area and the home and workshop, owned by William Hendrich, sat at the top of a hill. This required what firefighters call a “shuttle operation.” Tankers drove water supplies into the neighborhood and then pumped them into an engine parked at the bottom of the driveway. That engine then pumped the water to the “attack” engine waiting at the top of the hill.
A total of 14 firefighters and seven trucks responded. They had the fire under control by 10:16 p.m., though there were still several hot spots firefighters had to put out. They cleared the scene at 1 a.m.