Firefighters with the Johnson City Fire Department arrived at 1101 Claiborne St. around 1:30 p.m. to find the house engulfed in flames. The house is on the corner of East Locust Street and Claiborne.
Neighbor Tony Bennett, who lives across the street from the vacant house, noticed the fire as his son-in-law called 911.
“I saw the smoke first,” he said. “White smoke coming straight out the front, then ’poof’. That’s when the flames start shooting out.”
Neighbors gathered in front of the house agreed that the home had been unoccupied since spring, but Bennett said he had seen homeless people go in and out of the house over the last few months. Captain Steve Weaver confirmed that the fire team found no evidence of anyone living permanently in the burned home.
“The whole front porch, the whole front part of the house there was pretty much burnt in and out,” Weaver said of the home when he arrived on the scene. “There was fire from the floor to the ceiling.”
Firefighters worked a little over an hour to put out the flames, and Weaver estimated that 70 percent of the home had burned. Weaver said the fire began at the front of the house, and Fire Marshalls will continue their investigation into the cause.
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