Late-night fire forces temporary evacuation of apartment building

Tara Hills Apartment Fire Evacuation

Oak Ridge Fire Department Capt. Kerry Osborne carries a child from a building that had to be evacuated at the Tara Hills apartment complex on Sunday night. The boy was still in the building with his mother and brother when the fire department arrived. (Photos courtesy ORFD)


A fire in a downstairs apartment at the Tara Hills apartment complex on Elmhurst Drive late Sunday night forced the temporary evacuation of roughly 24 apartments, authorities said.

The fire was reported to the Oak Ridge Dispatch office just before midnight, and multiple units from the Oak Ridge Fire Department were dispatched, a press release said. Fire department units arrived to find heavy smoke coming from one of the apartment buildings with several people still inside the building, the release said.

“The fire was on the first floor of the building, but hallways on the second and third floors quickly filled with smoke,” ORFD Deputy Chief Josh Waldo said. [Read more…]

Student lights desk on fire; RMS bomb threat appears unfounded, ORPD says

James T. Akagi

James T. Akagi

Note: This story was last updated at 3:58 p.m.

A 16-year-old student at the Alternative School used hand sanitizer and a lighter to ignite another student’s desktop on Wednesday, authorities said.

Students extinguished the fire, and the suspect was arrested at the Alternative School on Thursday. He was processed at the Oak Ridge Police Department on aggravated arson charges and taken to the Richard L. Bean Juvenile Detention Facility in Knoxville, a press release said.

In a separate incident, authorities determined that a report of an alleged bomb threat at Robertsville Middle School on Monday was unfounded, and no criminal charges are expected.

The ORPD said the desk was set on fire just before dismissal at the Alternative School on Wednesday. The Alternative School is next to the Oak Ridge High School and on the same campus. Staff at the Alternative School notified School Resource Office Sherrill Selby about the incident via e-mail. [Read more…]

Boat destroyed by fire on Norris Lake

Norris Lake Boat Fire

A boat was destroyed by fire on Norris Lake on Monday morning. (Photo by TWRA)

ANDERSONVILLE—A wakeboard boat caught fire and burned late Monday morning on Norris Lake shortly after being launched at Anderson County Park, state officials said.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency responded to the reported boat fire at about 11 a.m. Monday. The 2012 22-foot Supra wakeboard boat was being driven by an unidentified woman, and it was completely engulfed by a fire that started near the vessel’s engine when TWRA Wildlife Officer Jason Lankford responded.

The woman’s husband informed Lankford that he had just launched the vessel when his wife took the boat down the lake for a short ride while he was parking the vehicle. The man also noted that the engine’s power ventilation system, which is designed to help prevent boat fires, was being used as the vessel was launched. [Read more…]

Woman, two children escape Easter morning grease fire


An Oak Ridge woman and her two children escaped an Easter morning grease fire at this Wade Lane home. (Photos by Tom Scott)

Note: This story was last updated at 8:20 p.m.

An Oak Ridge woman and her two children safely escaped an Easter morning grease fire that started in a pan on a stove while she was preparing to fry chicken in a Wade Lane home.

But their home, one of four units in a two-story building, was likely destroyed, Oak Ridge Fire Department Chief Darryl Kerley said.

Still, resident Dee Crumm said she is just glad that she and her 13-year-old son Seth and 10-year-old daughter Shelby are okay.

“As long as the kids are okay, that’s what counts,” Crumm said. [Read more…]

Fire destroys home on Meadow Lane in Blair

Meadow Lane Fire in Blair

A home and its contents appeared to be destroyed in a Saturday night fire on Meadow Lane in Blair, fire photographer Tom Scott said.

The Blair Fire Department responded to the fire at about 10:40 p.m. Saturday. The initial report said flames were coming through the roof of the house on Meadow Lane, which is off Ollis Road near Dyllis-Springs Elementary School, Scott said. The school is in Roane County southwest of Oliver Springs and northwest of Oak Ridge.

But the house was completely on fire when the first fire engine arrived, Scott said. The Oliver Springs Fire Department was also dispatched on an automatic mutual aid call. Four engines, one tanker, and one rescue truck were on the scene. Water was shuttled from a hydrant on Ollis Road. [Read more…]

Lightning strike may have caused house fire on Graceland Road

Graceland Road Fire

A lightning strike may have caused a house fire on Graceland Road on Thursday morning. (Photos by Tom Scott)

A Thursday morning fire possibly started by a lightning strike likely destroyed a home in west Oak Ridge and caused a few hundred thousand dollars in damage, authorities said.

The residents of the home at 118 Graceland Road knew their home had been hit by lightning at about 4:30 a.m. Thursday, Oak Ridge Fire Department Chief Darryl Kerley said. They heard the strike and found siding blown off the side of their house. They used a ladder to climb on the roof and check the home. Then, they re-checked it later before the man who lived there went to work.

But at about 7:45 a.m. Thursday, neighbor Chris Wetherall reported the roof of the house was on fire. The female resident, Yvonne McClellan, remained asleep inside, Kerley said.

Wetherall went to the burning home and banged on the door until McClellan woke up and answered the door, Kerley said. Wetherall moved a pickup truck out of the home’s garage and turned off the power. He took McClellan next door to his house, where she was evaluated by the fire department and Anderson County Emergency Medical Services. [Read more…]

Clinton home damaged by chimney fire

Information from WYSH Radio

A chimney fire caused some minor damage to a home on Brandawyne Drive in Clinton on Monday afternoon.

Clinton firefighters responded to the home shortly after 3:45 p.m. after receiving a call of a chimney fire. Firefighters used water to extinguish the fire in the fireplace and sprayed water down the chimney from the roof as well, while also clearing the burning debris from inside the fireplace.

Damage was estimated at around $1,000, and no injuries were reported. Crews cleared the scene about an hour and 15 minutes after the first unit arrived.

Small fire at Clinton industrial plant injures none, damage minimal

Information from WYSH Radio

A fire broke out at the Techmer PM facility in Clinton late Wednesday afternoon. Officials said the call came in at around 5 p.m., and when Clinton firefighters arrived, they quickly determined that the fire was small and contained to the plant’s exhaust system.

No injuries were reported, and damage was limited. The exact cause of the fire is under investigation.

State: Sprinkler system saves lives in Oak Ridge assisted living fire

Patriot Park Assisted Living Fire

Firefighters remove water from Patriot Park Assisted Living on Gum Hollow Road after putting out a small bed fire Friday evening. The fire was kept in check by a sprinkler system before Oak Ridge firefighters arrived and extinguished the flames.

An Oak Ridge assisted living center is thankful for its sprinkler system after a fire broke out on the premises Friday, state officials said Wednesday. All residents were safely evacuated and property damage contained to one room because of the sprinkler system.

This news comes at the same time as investigators comb through the fire-devastated ruins of an assisted living community in L’isle Verte, Quebec. where 25 residents lost their lives. The major difference between the two fires is that the assisted living building in Oak Ridge was equipped with a working sprinkler system, a press release said.

“The damage to the building was minimal, and no residents were displaced,” Oak Ridge Fire Department Fire Chief Darryl Kerley said of the Friday evening fire at Patriot Park Assisted Living on Gum Hollow Road. “Without the sprinkler system, we believe the outcome would be very different.” [Read more…]

Fire destroys two-story home in Blair

Keys Drive Fire

A fire on Keys Drive early Friday morning destroyed a home in Blair in Roane County. (Photos by Tom Scott)

Information from photographer Tom Scott

A fire on Keys Drive early Friday morning destroyed a home in Blair in Roane County.

The fire was reported at 160 Keys Drive  in the Blair community at about 1:15 a.m. Friday.

The two-story wooden frame house was heavily involved in fire upon the arrival of the first Blair Fire Department units. The Oliver Springs and Midtown fire departments responded on a request for mutual aid. [Read more…]

No injuries, but residents briefly evacuated for small fire at assisted living center

Patriot Park Assisted Living Fire

Firefighters remove water from Patriot Park Assisted Living on Gum Hollow Road after putting out a small bed fire Friday evening.

Note: This story was updated at 8 p.m.

There were no injuries, but residents were briefly evacuated after a bed caught fire at an assisted living center in west Oak Ridge on Friday.

The fire at Patriot Park Assisted Living on Gum Hollow Road was reported at about 6 p.m. Friday. The building’s sprinkler system kept it in check, and crews were able to put out the fire, which was confined to one room, in about three minutes with a 1.75-inch water line, Oak Ridge Fire Department Chief Darryl Kerley said.

There were 13 patients and two staff members in the building. Patients were put into ambulances and checked out, and everyone was okay, Kerley said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. [Read more…]

Windrock Road fire burns unoccupied home on Sunday

Windrock Road Cabin Fire

A Windrock Road fire on Sunday night burned an unoccupied home. (Photos by Tom Scott)

A Windrock Road fire on Sunday night burned an unoccupied home. The fire was reported at 7:55 p.m. Sunday at 805 Windrock Road.

There were no injuries, and the cause has not been determined, said Stephanie Fox, Marlow Volunteer Fire Department assistant fire chief.

The first firefighters to arrive on Sunday night reported that the house was completely in flames, fire photographer Tom Scott said. Fire engines weren’t able to drive up the home’s long, narrow dirt driveway, so firefighters had to drag a fire hose more than 700 feet by hand through brush and trees to get water on the house. [Read more…]