Early morning fire brings significant damage to local business

Published 4:44 pm Monday, April 22, 2024

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At approximately 4:50 a.m. on Monday, the Elizabethton Fire Department, along with the Elizabethton Police Department and Carter County Rescue Squad, responded to a commercial structure fire at Fatboy Fabrication, located at 1481 Highway 19-E. First-arriving personnel found heavy smoke and fire conditions emanating from the roof. Crews swiftly deployed a hand line and entered the structure to extinguish the fire. Upon gaining entry, they discovered that the ceiling was covered with plywood, making a traditional interior attack difficult due to building construction limitations. Consequently, the decision was made to transition aggressively to an exterior attack. 

Once this decision was made, on-scene personnel quickly deployed an additional hand line, a master stream device, and an aerial waterway to combat the deteriorating conditions. Simultaneously, other crews on scene initiated salvage operations to minimize damage to interior contents. Personnel covered cars, car parts, and tools with salvage covers, protecting approximately $500,000 worth of building contents. Following the control of the fire, a fire investigation was conducted, revealing that the fire likely originated in a small metal barrel containing discarded oil-soaked rags. The fire then traveled up the wall, severing an airline, and spread into the open attic space.