Mechanic shop in Harriman burns

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By The Staff

A midnight fire destroyed a well known vehicle garage in Harriman Wednesday.

Nobody was hurt, but Turpin Automotive’s large garage at 285 McKinney Road was left in ruins.

Midtown Volunteer Fire Chief Randy Scarborough said his department got the call around 12:05 a.m. when a neighbor saw smoke and fire coming from the roof of the garage.

The smoke was near the exhaust pipe for an oil heater that runs off burning motor oil.

“The fire is already out of the top of the roof,” neighbor Faye Conley said, according to an E-911 call sheet.

“There were several vehicles in there that burned. It was a total loss,” Scarborough said.

A nearby home was also damaged somewhat by the heat, but firefighters from multiple agencies were able to keep the flames to the one building.

Scarborough said radiant heat caused the home’s siding to melt.

“They set up a curtain of water to cool the residence down,” and started firefighting to protect nearby residences, Scarborough said.

“We had mutual aid from Harriman City, Blair, South Roane County, West Roane County, East Roane County and Roane County Emergency Operations,” Scarborough said.

“We quit fighting the fire in the neighborhood of 4:15, 4 in the morning,” he added.

Scarborough was thankful for the help in bringing water on scene and the manpower.

“There are no fire hydrants close by there, and the water had to be shuttled,” he said.

Scarborough said firefighters probably left the scene around 5 a.m.