Can the Loudon County Courthouse be saved?

Loudon County Courthouse after the fire on April 23 / Source: EMC Structural Engineers, P.C.

LOUDON COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Officials have released a structural report on the Loudon County Courthouse following a devastating fire that happened in April.

Nearly a month after the fire began, on May 20, officials released a report to assess the damages and what it would take to get the building to its "pre-fire" condition.

Investigators said a fire began at the courthouse on April 23 at around 6:30 p.m. By around 10:30 p.m., firefighters were able to enter the building after hours of fighting the flames; however, hot spots remained.

Fire crews worked throughout the night, taking shifts battling the blaze. Some even slept on the lawn when the fire was finally out. The courtroom was entirely destroyed, with the basement taking water damage.

According to the report, it "should not pose excessive challenges in returning the building to a pre-fire condition." However, the building's mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems will need to be removed and replaced.

As of the day the report was released, on May 13, the water in the basement had dissipated.

The Loudon County Mayor, Buddy Bradshaw, has promised to rebuild the historic landmark if possible. “That old building is solid, and we’re gonna keep her there and rebuild her,” Bradshaw said. However, Loudon County officials do not have an estimate from their insurance company on what it would cost or what type of reimbursement the county could get.

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