ELIZABETHTON — Elizabethton firefighters were in the right spot not only to put out a fire but to be the first ones to discover and report a fire on Thursday.
The fire broke out Thursday afternoon in a garage apartment at the corner of Riverside Drive and Hattie Avenue, just across the street from the Covered Bridge and only a block from the city’s main fire station.
But several of the firefighters were not in the station at the time of the fire. Assistant Chief Tim Edwards, Capt. Todd Montgomery, Engineer Rick Riddle and William Shoun were at the Covered Bridge, where they were taking down the wreath that is installed on the historic structure at the start of the Christmas season.
Riddle said they had just gotten the wreath down when he spotted smoke coming from just across the street.
“At first I just saw smoke, but then I saw some flames coming from the rear of the roof,” Riddle said.
The firefighters quickly went from wreath recovery to firefighter mode. Fire trucks began arriving and the firefighters began spraying the upstairs section of the building. For a short time heavy smoke covered the neighborhood, even obscuring nearby City Hall.
Thanks in part to the quick alert, the fire was quickly brought under control.
Montgomery said there were no injuries. He said the building sustained heat, smoke and water damage. The firefighters were still trying to determine the cause of the fire.