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Fire hits Grindstaff's home in Johnson City

Madison Mathews • Jan 10, 2009 at 12:00 AM

JOHNSON CITY — Flames erupted through the roof of Steve Grindstaff’s $28.5 million castle-home off of the Bristol Highway at 191 Degrasse Drive around 8 p.m. Saturday.

Johnson City police and fire departments arrived on the scene shortly thereafter.

There were no reports of anyone inside the building at the time the fire broke out.

Grindstaff currently had the house on the market. The home was listed on the Web site LuxuryRealEstate.com as the Crantzdorf Estate with an asking price of $28.5 million. According to the Web site, the home included nine bedrooms, 10 full baths, three half-baths, 20,000 square feet of living space and the interior was furnished with a home theater and an indoor basketball court.

The Johnson City Fire Department has not issued a report on the cause of the fire or to the extent of the damage. Although some firefighters had been allowed to return to their stations, others were still on the scene after 10:30 p.m.

Locals gathered down on the boat ramp located across from Winged Deer Park and watched as the fire department attempted to douse the flames on the other side of the lake.

Although no official report has been issued, several onlookers said they thought the fire was caused from lightning that struck the area moments before the blaze broke out in the home.

When firefighters first arrived, they were unable to enter the property because they were unable to move the large gate across the entrance.

Power was out to the gate and it took several minutes to get it out of the firefighters’ way.

Off-duty firefighters were called onto the scene due to the size of the fire. Washington County-Johnson City Emergency Medical Services was called to check on a firefighter at the scene who was suffering from chest pains.

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