Person killed in downtown Gatlinburg fire identified
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WVLT) - One person died and another was injured in a large fire in downtown Gatlinburg Sunday.
A spokesperson for the city said the Gatlinburg Fire Department was dispatched to the 700 block of Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg at 6:39 a.m. on October 9.
During fire suppression efforts, crews found one person dead inside the structure. The individual was identified as Joe Martin Bates, 54, according to the Sevier County Medical Examiner’s office.
In addition, officials confirmed that a firefighter was transported to the hospital with minor injuries from the fire but has since been released.
In total GFD crews, in addition to, Pigeon Forge Fire Department, Sevierville Fire Department, Sevier County Ambulance Service and Pittman Center Fire Department assisted in extinguishing the blaze.
Businesses affected by the fire include Puckers Sports Bar, China Bazaar, Cafe 420, and Gifts of Gatlinburg, according to WVLT News crews on the scene.
Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg from the intersection at Traffic Light No. 6 to the intersection at Reagen Drive reopened Monday afternoon after being closed Sunday morning, according to a release.
One of the owners of the impacted businesses called a contractor to demolish a damaged portion of the building.
All downtown sidewalks reopened as permanent fencing around the building was installed by the property owner following the fire.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the GFD, Gatlinburg Police Department and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Those with information are urged to contact the Tennessee Arson Hotline at 1-800-762-3017 or the GFD at 865-436-5112.
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