POSTED: Friday, December 23, 2011 - 4:46pm
UPDATED: Friday, December 23, 2011 - 4:52pm
SMITH COUNTY —
An early morning fire at a Smith County half-way house has been determined to have been intentionally set. Although the building was occupied at the time the fire broke out, residents and employees were able to exit safely and no injuries were reported. Fire damage was confined to an area of offices in the building.
At approximately 4:40AM on the morning of December 23, 2011, Dixie, Lindale and Noonday Fire Departments were dispatched to a fire at a local Half-Way house on CR 46 in western Smith County. Upon Dixie Fire Department’s arrival on-scene, they found fire in an office area of the building that had been contained by the building’s fire protection systems. The first arriving units were able to extinguish the fire quickly.
The building was occupied at the time of the fire, but all residents and workers were able to safely exit the building prior to the fire department’s arrival.
Investigators with the Smith County Fire Marshal’s Office were called to the scene and determined the cause of the fire to be arson. The investigation is still underway and at this point no suspects have been identified.
“This was a brazen act. To set fire to a building is bad enough, but to set fire to a building that has known occupants shows a complete disregard for life. We need the public’s help to get this person off the streets and into a jail cell where they belong. If you have any information on this fire or any other arson fire please contact the Smith County Fire Marshal’s Office or other law enforcement agency,” said Deputy Jay Brooks with the Smith County Fire Marshal’s Office.
Information from Smith County Fire
Fire officials tell KETK, the fire on County Road 46 is being investigated as arson.
About 50 people were evacuated from the rehab facility early Friday morning.
The building filled with smoke, originating from the office area.
Smith County Fire Marshalls are still on scene investigating.
Nobody was injured in the fire.
No word on what fire damage the building sustained, but officials say there may be some water damage from the sprinkler system.
Multiple fire departments responded to a structure fire at 4:30 a.m. on Friday.
Dixie and Lindale Fire officials tell KETK, the fire happened in the 12000 block of County Road 46 in Smith County.
Details are limited at this time, but the fire has been extinguished and several fire crews have left the scene.
KETK will update this story as more information is provided.