Report: No food damage at Ingle's

  By Thomas Wilson
star staff
  An inspector with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture reported no perishable items were damaged following a fire inside the Ingle's supermarket at 397 W. Elk Avenue last Sunday night.
  Ingle's store manager Jeff Jackson released a report completed Monday by a TDA health inspector to the Star on Friday. TDA health inspector Jane Armstrong filed the report one day after a suspected arsonist ignited bathroom tissue products in the store.
  The report stated that the fire had been set in aisle 13 where the store stocked the facial and bath tissue items. The fire was caught soon after it started at approximately 9 p.m.
  The inspector's report found "no food product is stored within 25 feet or more of where the fire occurred. No fire, smoke, or water damage occurred to any food items at all."
  The report stated that the fire was contained to apparently 12 feet of the bottom shelving displaying bathroom tissue. Two water sprinklers came on and water damaged some of the other paper goods and the store's stocked cat litter as well as greeting cards.
  When contacted by the Star on Wednesday, TDA officials in Nashville said they were unaware of the fire at Ingle's. Jackson said last week that the store did lose roughly $15,000 in merchandise as a result of the fire.
  The Department of Agriculture oversees health inspection of produce, meat and dairy products for supermarkets across the state. TDA health inspectors review damage to produce or if packaging of any perishable food was comprised by smoke or water damage when a fire occurs in a supermarket. An inspector's evaluation of damage could result in food items being condemned and thrown out.
  Employees and customers were evacuated from the building due to the large amount of smoke that permeated the building. There were no injuries reported.
  Elizabethton police and fire officials are continuing to investigate the incident.