West Knoxville apartment complex fire may have been caused by lightning


KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Twenty units of a West Knoxville apartment complex were evacuated after the Knoxville Fire Department says the building may have been hit by lightning.

Firefighters responded to a report of a fire on the third floor of Plantation Manor Apartments at 500 Manor View Drive, near Gallahar View Road. When they arrived, they found smoldering smoke coming from a vent.

The WATE 6 On Your Side Storm Team reported lightning in the area near the complex.

Crews made their way into the attic looking for signs of what may have been producing the smoke, cutting holes in the roof to release the accumulating heat and smoke.

The American Red Cross is helping 43 residents displaced by the fire. Apartment managers say there may be some unoccupied apartments in the complex into which those displaced can move.

Officials say lightning often travels the path of least resistance, which may have been the electrical wiring. The fire is considered under control. No one was injured in the fire.

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