Fire in downtown Athens damages multiple buildings

Published: Jul. 1, 2017 at 8:18 AM EDT
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The city manager of Athens confirms that the fire has now been suppressed.

Early this Saturday morning, the McMinn County dispatch confirmed that crews were working to put out a fire in downtown Athens in McMinn County. That fire has now been suppressed, according to the city manager of Athens.

The fire was contained to one building, a historic building which was being renovated. However, nearby buildings incurred extensive smoke and water damage, namely Johnson's Home Furnishing and the Chamber of Commerce.

The city manager confirms that no injuries or deaths occurred as a result. The water is off, and many of the responding mutual aid departments have been relieved.

The vice mayor and city manager say they are looking forward to building back better than ever.

McMinn County is in between Knoxville and Chattanooga; Athens is the county seat.

At this time, the cause of the fire is unknown, but officials have ruled out arson. Currently, materials from the buildings are being tested for structural integrity.

Stay with Local 8 News for more developments.