UPDATE: Fire engulfs Model Mill in Johnson City

Jessica Fuller • Updated Sep 26, 2016 at 1:28 AM


Updated Monday 12:18 a.m.

Johnson City Fire Department chief Mark Scott said no one was injured in a two-alarm fire that ravaged the former Model Mill on West Walnut Street Sunday evening.

Firefighters were still cooling hot spots two hours after the 9:30 call Sunday night, and Scott said investigation would continue in the morning.

As the floor on the inside of the mill is unstable, Scott said it was too dangerous to send firefighters inside the building until daylight. Two ladder trucks continued to spray down as the gutted mill continued to smoke.

Onlookers crowded the sidewalk and the Founders Park parking lot to witness the hours-long battle with the flames.

Scott said more information will be available once firefighters can safely investigate the site beginning tomorrow morning.

Capt. Jason Powell, who was running Station 3 along with Assistant Fire Chief Chris Willams, said there were 19 firefighters from four stations on the scene. Firefighters had four fire engines and two ladder trucks surrounding the building to douse the flames.

“We restaffed the stations with off-duty personnel to work the apparatus and cover the city,” Powell said. Seven of the city’s nine fire stations were fully staffed as firefighters on scene worked to put out the mill fire.

All three fire marshals were also on scene, Powell said. He expected fire personnel to be on scene through the night and into Monday.

The Johnson City Police Department assisted on the scene with traffic and crowd control and the Washington County/Johnson City EMS was on standby in the event of any injuries.

Video by Jessica Fuller:



More photos here.

Senior Reporter Becky Campbell contributed to this article.

Reported Sunday evening:

Flames erupted from the vacant Model Mill property on West Walnut Street Sunday evening, engulfing the building and sending smoke billowing throughout downtown Johnson City.

All around downtown and south Johnson City, the flames could be seen from pouring from the roof into the sky.

The fire was reported at 9:21 p.m. according to Washington County Emergency Communications. Firefighters used two ladder trucks and several other emergency vehicles to battle the blaze.

The mill property has been vacant since General Mills left Johnson City several years ago. The local Chamber of Commerce owns the property. Summers-Taylor Inc. has a contract to purchase the site, planning to use it for its corporate headquarters.

Summers-Taylor’s Rab Summers was at the scene of the fire Sunday and reported that the purchase had not completed, so the Chamber still owns the property.

Hundreds of people had gathered in various locations around the area of the fire, including nearby parking lots and Founders Park, to watch the fire.


Video by Zach Vance:




Contributed Video by Alexander Armor.


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