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Update: Fire at historic Montrose Court apartments reportedly started by candle

October 8th, 2013 3:52 pm by Tony Casey

Update: Fire at historic Montrose Court apartments reportedly started by candle

A firefighter carries a dog from Montrose Court on Tuesday. Photo by Dave Boyd/Johnson City Press



Montrose Court resident Holley Stone said she was sleeping in the living room when one of her dogs must have knocked over a candle in her bedroom, causing a fire in her apartment on the second floor.


“The room was black with smoke,” Stone said.


Stone, 26, who was the only person in her apartment at the time, said she immediately grabbed her two dogs, Deenie and Fiver, a Dachshund and Chiweenie, and got out of the building.


The fire occurred at around 3:30 Tuesday afternoon in the 30-apartment building on the corner of Boyd and West Locust streets next to South Side Elementary School in the Tree Streets neighborhood. It was brought under control by Johnson City Fire Department personnel within about an hour. Stone’s apartment, No. 21, was the only apartment with any damage.


Johnson City Fire Department Lt. Jerome Palmer said no one was treated for injuries and he was pleased with the department’s handling of the situation. He said firefighters had problems with the building’s ventilation.


According to a press release from the fire department, firefighters were able to contain the origin of the fire, and that the building had smoke damage to the second and third stories.


Firefighters helped in carrying dogs and cats out of the building throughout the ordeal.


One resident, Jacob Adkins, said the alarm went off when he was studying, but said he initially ignored it because cigarettes or other situations will often set off false alarms.


After the alarm carried on for longer than usual, he grabbed his 12-week-old mini dachshund Mia, who was a present from his wife, and got out. Adkins said he was glad his wife was at work during the fire.


He was told by fire department members that because all the doors were fireproof, all of his belongings should be safe. 


The building, originally constructed in 1922 as a luxury apartment house, is rumored to have been Al Capone’s southern headquarters during the prohibition years. There was a massive fire there in 1928, with the cause unknown. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.


Palmer said the fire is being investigated by the Johnson City Fire Marshal’s office.

An earlier version of the story below

Montrose Court resident Holley Stone said she was sleeping in the living room when one of her dogs must have knocked over a candle in her bedroom, causing a fire in her apartment on the second floor.


“The room was black with smoke,” Stone said.


Stone, 26, who was the only person in her apartment at the time, said she immediately grabbed her two dogs, Deenie and Fiver, a Dachshund and Chiweenie, and got out of the building.


The fire occurred at around 3:30 Tuesday afternoon in the 30-apartment building on the corner of Boyd Street and West Locust Street next to South Side Elementary School in the Tree Streets area of Johnson City. It was brought under control by Johnson City Fire Department personnel within about an hour. Stone’s apartment, Apt. 21, was the only apartment with any damage.


Johnson City Fire Department Lt. Jerome Palmer said no one was treated for injuries and he was pleased with the department’s handling of the situation, but firefighters had problems with the ventilation of the building.


Fire fighters helped in carrying dogs and cats out of the building throughout the ordeal.


One resident, Jacob Adkins, said the alarm went off when he was studying, but said he initially ignored it because cigarettes or other situations will often set off false alarms.


After the alarm carried on for longer than usual, he grabbed his 12-week-old mini dachshund ‘Mia,’ who was a present from his wife, and got out. Adkins said he was glad his wife was at work during the fire.


He was told by members of the fire department that because all the doors were fireproof, all of his belongings should be safe. 


The building, originally constructed in 1922 as a luxury apartment house, is rumored to have been Al Capone’s southern headquarters during the prohibition years. It suffered a massive fire in 1928 to unknown causes. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.


Additional Photos

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