Owner of Fort Loudon waste facility given warning for code violations

Fort Loudon Waste Recycling Center / Source: WVLT News

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The owner of a Knox County waste center has been given a warning for fire code violations months after a large fire broke out at the facility, officials say.

On August 21, officials confirmed the Fort Loudon Waste and Recycling Center had recently been issued a warning because materials stacked at the site could be a potential fire hazard. Officials said the owner was not issued a written warning for the code violations, but he reportedly is working with officials to get the site up to code.

A large fire broke out at the Fort Loudon Waste and Recycling Center on May 1. Investigators said the fire was caused by a piece of equipment backfiring. KFD said a forklift that had a propane tank backfired and shot out flames, lighting bits of paper on fire.

The center was barred from bringing more materials in after the incident. Shortly after the fire, it was revealed that the company owed more than $376,000 in unpaid property and equipment taxes.

A spokesperson with the City of Knoxville has since said that Western World Insurance Co. paid on the overdue taxes "presumably as part of settling the claim for the fire damage." The total payment was $236,327.38. "The covers eight years of personal property taxes and three-plus years of real estate taxes," the spokesperson said.

The company still owes funds to Knox County in unpaid taxes.

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