Rocky Top abandoned building fire sees traffic redirected


A massive fire in the early morning hours Wednesday charred an old hospital building in Rocky Top.

The first reports of the fire came in around 5:15 a.m. on South Main Street. Firefighters at first had to fight the flames from outside the building since the building’s roof was caving in.

The city manager said just the day before, he ahd taken some developers into the abandoned hospital building as they were interested in buying it. Those plans now appear to be upended.

“It’s just kind of sad.Yyou finally get some potential of somebody doing something with the property, and we had been doing some codes enforcement on them. And it was forcing them to do something with the property and we finally had some people interested in it. And now it’s going to be a total loss from what we can tell,” City Manager Michael Foster said.

The building did not have electricity, so officials think the fire was started by someone and the arson investigator will take a look on Thursday. 

The fire and the effort to put it out also caused closures during school hours on Wednesday morning.

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