Two Fires Keep Firefighters Busy in Lonsdale

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A busy evening Tuesday for Knoxville firefighters as they battle two fires in one neighborhood. They both happened in the Lonsdale area. The first at a factory on Johnston Street and the other at a home on
Jourolman Avenue.

Volunteer TV's Whitney Daniel joins us with a look at how both happened.

Certainly a busy night for firefighters, but their response time was really quick. Four minutes to the first fire and eight to the second. Pretty fast, but they were only blocks apart.

Two fires, same time, same part of town. One here on Jourolman Avenue where a mattress caught fire. Firefighters contained the flames to the one bedroom while paramedics tended to the 46-year-old victim, who lost her cat in the fire.

"She appears... she has a lot of soot and at least possible first degree burns to her face. Her hair is singed, but she's totally alert and oriented and able to answer all questions," said Darrell Whitaker from the Knoxville Fire Department.

Firefighters taped off the property so they can investigate. They aren't ruling arson out just yet.

Meanwhile, several companies with the Knoxville Fire Department helped put out this fire at Tamko Roofing Products.

"I could see flames shooting about 30-feet high when I left out my house about five blocks away," resident Johnny McFall said.

Johnny McFall usually walks three to four miles along this route, but not Tuesday.

"There's a fire department right down the street from my house, then I seen about 10 trucks, one after another, pass by so I knew there had to be something big down the street on fire," McFall said.

Apparently a machine, designed to make paper products for roofing materials, caught fire.

"It's kind of common to have small fires there because the sprinkler systems are as such, it puts them out quickly," Whitaker said.

Plus, the factory has it's own fire brigade.

"They did not realize that the fire had made it up into the stack and had caught the roof on fire," Whitaker said.

But their quick reaction saved the factory from heavy damage.

"It's just roof damage. The fire brigade did such a good job low, on the low side, they should be back in business as soon as they get that cleared and get the roof repaired," Whitaker said.

Tamko Roofing Products will be open and back in business Wednesday.
Eleven people were working in the factory at the time. No one was injured.