Neighbors near recycling facility fire react to hours of smoke, flames

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Black smoke, red fire trucks, and yellow-taped, closed-off roads — all sights of the day and into the night for a North Knoxville neighborhood. Nearly 100 homes were evacuated because of a two-acre fire at Fort Loudon Waste and Recycling facility. 

     MORE | Fire contained at waste & recycling plant in North Knoxville; continues to burn

Neighbors who were home after 1 p.m. on Wednesday heard fire trucks and smelled smoke outside of their homes. One neighbor, who lived 100 yards from part of the fire telling WATE 6 On Your Side they were “scared for (their) home” when it first broke out.

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As the sun went down, evacuations continued in the area.

“I came back again, I want to get some clothes, spend the night somewhere but still… you can see the smoke right here,” said Ernesto Brabo, a neighbor on Morelia Avenue in North Knoxville. 

Other neighbors opting to stay inside their homes, even after Knoxville Police Department officers warned of evacuations. 

“Kind of nervous, especially looking at it now… I don’t really know what we would do if it came to having to evacuate. I trust they have it under control, it’s just the toxins in the air that’s the big issue,” said Kayla White, a neighbor who lived two blocks from the fire. 

     MORE | Knox County Health Department says air quality affected by recycling plant fire

White says it was difficult to evacuate because they have so many pets, one specifically can’t travel. She says they are staying inside, windows closed, with the HVAC unit off in the meantime. 

Neighbors closer to Fort Loudon Waste and Reclying say they were concerned when they saw flames, but knew the Knoxville Fire Department would get those under control. 

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