Knoxville College neighbors concerned after fire, bodies found
Neighbors of Knoxville College want the property to be restored or demolished after a fire and two bodies were found on campus property.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - People living near the Knoxville College campus want something to be done with the property after a fire broke out and two bodies were discovered by police Sunday.
Previous Coverage: Two bodies found inside Knoxville College building
“There’s no one over there to make sure things are safe. I hardly see any cops over here, too,” said a neighbor to the campus, Harrison Green.
Neighbors said news of the fire and deaths on the property did not come as a surprise. “That’s pretty freaky. I mean, I see the homeless people walking around all the time. Usually, they don’t bother people, but I mean, that’s right next to me. That’s down the road,” Green said.
Knoxville Fire Department officials said Knoxville College works hard to keep trespassers off its property. The fire department has responded to the campus ten times in the last year.
“This isn’t unlike other properties throughout the city. We do see this in other places, not just Knoxville College, but this is a large campus. It’s a large area. There are several acres here for people to get into and can be concealed very easily,” said Assistant Chief Mark Wilbanks.
People in the area want something to be done with the property to keep their neighborhood safe.
“I just want to see it put to good use, so they won’t have this issue with homeless going up there,” said neighbor Ellen Roy.
“Maybe tear down the buildings. I mean, they’re not using them. They just sit empty, and it would keep people from staying in them,” Green said.
City Code Enforcement has taken action on the Knoxville College property twice in the last year. Elnathan Hall received an immediate repair-only order, which allowed the city to placard the building as “Unfit for Human Habitation.” However, the building had already previously been placarded.
The Robert H. Harvey College Center received a 120-day repair and/or demolition order at a Public Officer Hearing. The college requested and was granted an extension on the demolition until Nov. 2. This building had also previously been placarded.
Copyright 2023 WVLT. All rights reserved.