Crews fight fire at Jefferson County log business

(Photo Courtesy of Bob Brandl)

DANDRIDGE (WATE) – Firefighters in Jefferson County are working to figure out what caused flames to shoot through the roof of a business. The fire is believed to have started in the back of Hearthstone Homes in Dandridge, which is located on Highway 25/70.

Crews say they received the 911 call Friday morning around 2:40 a.m. Within a few hours, the fire was under control, but firefighters were still working to put out hot spots.

“I just thank God no one was in there when it went up,” said homeowner Sammie Jo Laws.

“You could see the flames, from what I’ve been told, to White Pine,” added Captain Will Wiwczaroski with the Dandridge Volunteer Fire Department.

Hundreds of thousands of gallons of water were brought to the scene to extinguish the fire at Hearthstone Homes. It was more challenging because of the timber and materials the company uses every day.

“It burns hot and it burns quick, and at the same time once it starts burning, the inside starts to smolder and then you’ll have possibility for rekindling,” added Captain Wiwczaroski.

Crews fought the fire from the ground and up in the air.

“With us not being able to go inside and the roofs already collapsed down and everything, you have to be able to get over the top of it to spray down inside of it,” said Captain Wiwczaroski.

Traffic was blocked in both directions of Highway 25/70. Many homeowners say it’s hard to believe something so had happened this close to home.

“It’s nothing but sawdust. But things happen so quick, in the blink of an eye, and we can lose everything,” said Laws.

At this point the Dandridge Volunteer Fire Department says they do not know what caused the fire, but they are investigating.

Representatives with Hearthstone Homes have not responded to a request for comment.

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