(HAMBLEN) - A fire at the Old Hamblen Fire Station in Brown County may have been started after someone entered the building and stole copper wiring and left the electricity on.
The Brown County Democrat reported at about 2 p.m. Thursday, Hamblen Township volunteer firefighters were dispatched to their old fire station at Gatesville and Salt Creek roads on a report from a neighbor about smoke coming from the building. The station is within eyesight of the current Hamblen fire station.
At 2:29 p.m. Nineveh, Nashville, Cordry Sweetwater and Jackson stations were called to assist. Trafalgar VFD was called to set up a Turbo Draft at the new Hamblen fire station. A Turbo Draft helps to supply water to a fire scene. At 2:50 p.m. firefighters and a tanker truck from Bargersville responded.
At 3:10 p.m. the roof on the old station collapsed and flames were shooting through what was left of the roof.
The fire department hadn't used the station since 2008, when it was destroyed by a flood, said Hamblen Public Information Officer Barb Gess. After the department moved into its current station just down the road, the firefighters used the old station - about the size of a three-car garage - as a haunted house to raise funds.
The building is still set up as a haunted house, and firefighters are not fighting the flames from inside because they fear getting trapped in the maze, Lilly reports.
Hamblen firefighters and the Brown County Sheriff's Department are seeking information about a red truck pulling a trailer loaded with copper that was seen leaving the area of the old station.
Police said copper wiring was stolen from the old station about three weeks ago, and when firefighters entered the building when the fire was reported, they found copper wiring hanging from the ceiling and the electricity on.
Anyone with information about the fire or the theft of the copper is asked to call the Brown County Sheriff's Department at 988-6655.
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