Jefferson County fire crews working to extinguish hot spots after Dandridge business fire


DANDRIDGE, Tenn. (WATE) – Authorities in Jefferson County contained a fire at a Dandridge business on Wednesday morning.

Fire crews responded to a report of a fire at the Silver Phoenix 500 refining company on Pine Drive in Dandridge just after 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Three workers were inside when the fire started, but they were able to evacuate safely.

Officials at the scene say the fire poses no threat to in the immediate area of the fire.

“We did have a small area in the back that did (catch fire), but they’re monitoring every area around it to make sure that it doesn’t spread to the grasslands or endanger the houses on the backside of the facility,” Brad Phillips, Director of Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency.

WATCH: Jefferson County Emergency Management official Brad Phillips discusses the fire

All ten fire departments in Jefferson County responded to the fire, as well as a few outside departments for mutual aid. More than 40 firefighters were t the scene, working to contain the fire.

Phillips said that as of 12:45 p.m., crews remained on scene to extinguish any remaining hot spots.

He said the extra help was needed to shuttle the water, in order to not use all the local supply in the area.

Due to the size of the fire and crews needing to shuttle water, Epco Road was blocked off to normal traffic.

The fire caused the neighboring Humane Society of Jefferson County to close, because of the road block.

Julie Carter, executive director of the shelter, said that because of the type of work done in the building and the smoke in the area, volunteers had to take the dogs inside.

“They rushed them back in as soon as they noticed any type of flame and got them taken care of. So, everybody was inside, healthy, happy, safe,” Carter said.

She said they often see smoke coming from the factory, sometimes so much smoke that they thought it was on fire in the past.

Carter and her assistant director said they also help humans and brought water and snacks to the firefighters at the scene.

Carter said she would have to clean the outdoor kennels once the fire was extinguished.

“I checked all the water bowls and of course there is some ash in the buckets. So, we’ll decontaminate them, we’ll bleach them out and make sure everything is taken care of before the dogs come back outside,” Carter said.

Phillips said he checked with the building owners and the county’s material data sheets to see if the burning materials inside would pose a hazard to the public.

“They are a refining facility for silver, stripping of x-rays and other products…they have several kilns here where they use those in the process of refining the silver from different products,” Phillips said.

He said there was no inhalation hazards.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, but Phillips said that the company’s equipment most likely played a role.


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