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Update: West Main warehouse blaze under control, cause undetermined

Staff report • May 13, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Firefighters remained late this afternoon on the scene of what had been a massive fire that destroyed a West Main Street warehouse.

Reported about 12:15 p.m., the blaze was 1010 W. Main St. sent thick, black plumes of smoke pouring into the west Johnson City sky.

As some crews worked to protect neighboring businesses, others worked to contain the the fire, Johnson City Fire Department Lt. Jason Powell said. Firefighters had the blaze under control by 3 p.m., but officials expected to stay on the scene through the night given the size of the structure and remaining embers.

"It looks like it's going to be a campaign," Powell said.

Powell said the fire's cause remained under investigation, but the building's contents likely played a role in how quickly the fire got so large. Stored inside were rolled grass, seed and fertilizer used in landscaping along road projects.

The warehouse was constructed largely of tin-covered wood, which also burned quickly and collapsed as firefighters worked.

Surrounding buildings were evacuated. West Market Street from North State of Franklin Road to University was closed, and firefighters took measures to protect several neighboring businesses, including a gas station, Auto Zone, Jim's Motorcycle Sales and Jane's Lunch Box, all of which are on West Market.

Powell said 911 records last listed the building's address as that of Growers Co Op Warehouse, but it was his understanding the building was under new ownership.

Keep checking JohnsonCityPress.com for more information as it becomes available.

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