Fires erupt across county


Photo by John Bryant
Firefighters work to put out a fire at the old Cloudland Elementary School early Sunday morning. Roan Mountain Volunteer Fire Department officials suspect foul play in the blaze, which damaged several classrooms.

  From Staff Reports
  Carter County was ablaze Sunday when four fires erupted in various locations - two of them allegedly the result of arson. There were no injuries reported.
  Two fires started in the early morning hours at the old Carter County Memorial Hospital and former Cloudland Elementary School. During the afternoon, a third blaze ignited near Cash Hollow and a fourth at a barn on Walnut Mountain Road.
  Roan Mountain Volunteer Fire Department firefighters responded to a fire at the old Cloudland Elementary School around 1:15 a.m. that they believe was set by vandals because there was no power to the building where the fire occurred. A fireman at the department said fire damaged one of the old classrooms and smoke permeated the entire building. Two other classrooms also received intense heat damage from the blaze.
  The RMVFD official said every volunteer fire department in the county responded except for Elk Mills. Firefighters were either sent to the scene or sent to cover another station. He said firefighters had the blaze under control within 20 minutes but were on scene until 3 a.m.
  At approximately 5:15 a.m., Elizabethton Fire Department officials responded to a fire in the old Carter County Memorial Hospital they said also was a result of arson.
  "There is no power, no electricity in the building, so it was probably vandals. That's about all it could be," said EFD Captain Tim Edwards.
  Edwards said four fire trucks responded and worked nearly four hours extinguishing the fire, which was located in the northwest corner of the building, and securing the area. "It was where the old boiler room used to be. There was some old plastic ribbon in there that someone had used as storage material - previous owners I guess - and we had to make sure it (the fire) was all out in it."
  Roan Mountain Volunteer Fire Department also responded to a four-to-six-acre brush fire on Walnut Mountain Road Sunday evening. Officials with the department said the barn had been destroyed by fire early Sunday morning, then the fire erupted into a blaze on the ground later in the day they said firefighters were able to put out.
  Also, on Sunday afternoon, a brush fire erupted near Cash Hollow, and volunteer fire departments helped extinguish the blaze.