KNOXVILLLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Two hundred seventy-eight people are being moved out of the Summit Towers after a small fire on Tuesday led to elevators being shut down. The building located along Locust Street in the Old City is described on its website as “an apartment community for those 62 and better, handicapped, or disabled.”
“We do not have a working elevator system,” said Paul Trumpore with KFD. “We have patchwork to where somebody can operate it manually. And when I say manually, we’re not talking about a firefighter with a key, I’m talking about an elevator company is actually on top of the car manually moving it for us.”
Officials from the Knoxville Fire Department say one person was hospitalized due to Tuesday’s fire on the eighth floor. The department chaplain said the sprinkler system did its job, but the water has caused a disturbance.
Malcolm Kingore, who says he is a veteran, lives on the 10th floor.
“Today, whew, today was just harassment last night was even worse,” Kingore said.
Kingore said he was appreciative of the department’s efforts Tuesday.
“Without the Fire Department, we wouldn’t have nobody man. And they’re just right down here. I love the Fire Department. God bless their hearts, they got a hard job to do,” Kingore said.
Mary Sharp lives at the apartment complex too. She said she’s, “a little upset.”
“Mine was just flooded a little bit at the door but they said water, electricity don’t go together so they had to shut my electricity off,” Sharp said.
The Red Cross is providing shelter for the apartment complex’s evacuees, but Sharp is still worried about where she’ll lay her head.
“Just wondering where they’re going to take me because they said they couldn’t take me to a shelter because of my disabilities,” she said. “I would have to go sit in an ER waiting room until they could find out what to do with me.”
Two people were taken to the hospital Tuesday during the evacuation for nonemergency reasons. The Red Cross shelter is at the Jacob building on East Magnolia Avenue.