Fire damages old Paty Lumber

By Julie Fann
star staff
A Sunday afternoon blaze damaged the interior of the old Paty Lumber building located at the intersection of Lynn and Elk Avenues Sunday. Elizabethton Fire Chief, Mike Shouse, said vandals possibly started the fire. There were no injuries.
"It looks like it's a possibility at this time to be vandals. They've been all throughout the building and vandalized the building on the inside from one end to the other. But we don't know how much of that is lately. We've not been in this building in awhile," Shouse said.
The Elizabethton Fire Department received a 911 call, according to Shouse, at 3:22 p.m. from a passerby who saw smoke billowing out of the structure. When firefighters arrived, they forced entry through a doorway in the storage warehouse area.
"There was a large pile of some old building supplies and stuff that's been left here that was ignited. We were able to contain the blaze in that area, but what it has done is filled the entire building full of very black smoke," Shouse said.
The burning of old asphalt shingles, Shouse said, was the main source of smoke damage, which approximately 15 firefighters worked to eliminate by using mechanical fans, natural ventilation areas and avenues of travel, he said.
"What we're going to end up having to do in this upper portion is put some holes in the sides of the building and get it out that way."
Shouse affirmed that the building was not permanently damaged.
Builders First Source and BSL Holdings, Inc., a products distribution company based in Dallas, Texas, purchased Paty Lumber Company in 1999, according to the Builders First Source Web site. Headquartered in Piney Flats, Paty Lumber Company was founded in 1932 by John C. Paty in Elizabethton.