Flames engulf McClung Warehouses in downtown Knoxville

Flames engulf McClung Warehouses in downtown Knoxville

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The Knoxville Fire Department says firefighters responded to the scene at 3:30 a.m. on Saturday. The Knoxville Fire Department says firefighters responded to the scene at 3:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Because of a lack of structural stability, firefighters were ordered not to enter the structures. The fire was instead fought from the street. Because of a lack of structural stability, firefighters were ordered not to enter the structures. The fire was instead fought from the street.
KUB was forced to cut power in the area shortly after the fire due to fears that a building collapse would take out several power lines. KUB was forced to cut power in the area shortly after the fire due to fears that a building collapse would take out several power lines.
"I kind of went into panic mode, and went back and tried to get my stuff together, cause at that point I couldn't tell if it was our building or the building next door," said Jessica Hentchell, who was forced to evacuate her apartment. "I kind of went into panic mode, and went back and tried to get my stuff together, cause at that point I couldn't tell if it was our building or the building next door," said Jessica Hentchell, who was forced to evacuate her apartment.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The McClung Warehouses were again devastated by a fire early Saturday morning, nearly seven years after another blaze left them in ruins.

The warehouses are located at the intersection of Broadway and Jackson Avenue in downtown Knoxville.

The Knoxville Fire Department says firefighters responded to the scene at 3:30 a.m. on Saturday. Within moments, firefighters said they called for a second alarm, requesting additional manpower and equipment.

Two of the three remaining buildings that make up the warehouses became engulfed in flames.

In a press conference late Saturday morning, fire officials said that one of the buildings collapsed. The other suffered severe fire damage.

Because of a lack of structural stability, firefighters were ordered not to enter the structures. The fire was instead fought from the street. Officials say at times the flames reach heights of more than 100 feet.

While the cause of the fire has yet to be determined, fire officials say they do believe there was human involvement. Authorities have not yet determined whether the cause of the fire was intentional, however.

Officials evacuated condominiums in the Southeastern Glass building, which is next door to the warehouses, as a precaution. That building was not damaged.

"I went downstairs to step outside in the back, and just saw embers falling. So then I kind of went into panic mode, and went back and tried to get my stuff together, cause at that point I couldn't tell if it was our building or the building next door," said Jessica Hentchell, who was forced to evacuate her apartment.

Those residents were allowed back into their homes after being forced out for several hours, after KFD determined it was no longer a hazard.

KUB was forced to cut power in the area shortly after the fire due to fears that a building collapse would take out several power lines. Power had been restored for some of the area as of Saturday afternoon.

No injuries were reported.

The buildings have been without power since the 2007 fire. That fire destroyed two buildings, neither of which were rebuilt.

The city announced in October that it hoped to put the buildings back into the hands of a private developer this year.

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