MARYVILLE (WATE) - Fire damaged a Maryville office building early Monday morning.
Firefighters were called about 5 a.m. to the Law Office Building, 306 South Washington.
Several businesses are located in the office building, which dates from the 1920s. There is significant damage to the building, according to fire and police Chief Tony Crisp.
No injuries were reported.
The fire was mostly contained to the attic of the building. Firefighters say the intensity of the fire was too hot to fight from the inside of the building, so they resorted to spraying it from overhead.
"A lot of fire in the attic. It's an older building and its original design has been changed quite a bit over the years, which makes it a little more difficult to fight the fire," Crisp said.
The fire started in a small closet with no sprinklers and spread to a wall, then into the attic.
The building housed more than a dozen businesses including several law offices, insurance agents and financial advisors.
People who work in the building said they had their important documents backed up in another location, but recovering from the fire will be tougher for some than others.
"We've pretty much lost everything we had and, being a non-profit, we do not have insurance, so we'll be starting from scratch," said Missy Johnson. She runs Kingdom Design Ministries, a non-profit that re-decorates rooms for children facing tough times.
Even though much of the group's work was likely lost in the blaze, their focus remained on the firefighters.
"We've watched them all morning and it's just such a beautiful picture of how they've dedicated their lives to something bigger than themselves and it's just really neat to stand back and watch that," Johnson added.
Workers in other offices in the building were surprised by how large the fire was. "I didn't know what to think. I kept getting text messages and different people calling me so I wanted to get to work, but I was glad nobody was hurt. We didn't know what we would find," said Angella Petty.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, though it is believed to be electrical.
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