Harriman wildfire burns nearly 200 acres, stopping short of homes

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HARRIMAN (WATE) – A few flames were still burning Wednesday morning after crews worked through the night on a wildfire that burned nearly 200 acres.

The fire started at an abandoned home on Bazel Road around 11:00 a.m. Tuesday according to Harriman Fire Department Chief Brad Goss.

Goss says it was challenging to fight because the wind quickly spread flames to rough terrain, and water supply was limited.

Forestry officials said around 50 firefighters worked the 160 acre fire.

“Upon arrival we found the home fully engulfed almost completely on the ground. The fire had spread into the woods,” Goss said.

Slideshow: Harriman Forest Fire

Around 50 firefighters worked to contain the fire by building a fire break the keep the fire from reaching nearby homes. Goss said thankfully Firefighters went through special training to fight forest fires and no homes were damaged.

“That’s one time when the wind worked in our favor, it was pushing away from the residential areas so that helped us a whole lot,” Goss said.

Ernest Goins lives next door to where the fire started and says flames crept within just a few feet of his home where his elderly mother was inside.

“It was scary and I just jumped out of the truck and it just went right to work, got my hose and started spraying it down with a water hose as best I could,” Goins said.

He says it’s a miracle flames didn’t reach his home or his shed, which has several containers of gasoline inside.

“I was lucky the fire department got here as quick as they did and stayed to work on it,” Goins said.

According to an initial investigation, the fire appears to be accidental, according to Goss. Tennessee’s Forestry Department is investigating.

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