MOUNTAIN CITY — Fire struck a Johnson County volunteer fire department at 5 a.m. Thursday, severely damaging the fire station and three vehicles housed inside. Approximately six departments responded to the fire alarm. There were no injuries reported.
The three-bay station is on Rhea Road, just off U.S. Highway 421 near the corporate limits of Mountain City.
“Right now, they think the cause was a short circuit in one of the trucks,” said Johnson County Emergency Management Agency Director Jason Blevins. He said it is too early to tell how long it will take to get the station up and running again. He said it appears at least two of the trucks were destroyed. The damaged trucks included a fire engine, a tanker and a brush truck.
The station belongs to the Second District Volunteer Fire Department. Blevins said the department is responsible for the area in a ring around Mountain City. He said the department has another station and trucks on the other side of Mountain City, where the department can operate until the disabled station can be restored.
In addition to the damage to the building and the trucks, Blevins said some of the firefighters personal gear that had been stored in the station was also damaged or destroyed.
“The other departments will just pull together, that is the way they have always got through tough times,” Blevins said. “The department has good insurance with Volunteer Fire Insurance Service and I really believe everything will be put back together quicker than people expect.”