The Morristown Citizen-Tribune is reporting that a wind-fueled fire raged through and flattened a 95-year-old wooden mansion near Union Heights Elementary School Tuesday afternoon.
Glowing embers from the violent blaze blew southwest across Lowland Pike, igniting trees and a grassy field and causing school officials to dismiss some elementary school students 40 minutes early. Shortly before 3 p.m., school officials evacuated Union Heights at the request of emergency officials. About 150 students were still present at the time of the evacuation, according to the Hamblen County School Director's Office.
By 2:50 p.m., the wildfire was burning out of control, fanned by steady high winds. Firefighters were having to shuttle water to the blaze on the same days that tankers from two Hamblen County volunteer fire departments were dispatched to Sevier County to extinguish a wildfire there.
Three state Division of Forestry fire crews were called in around 2:40 p.m. to help members of all four Hamblen County volunteer fire departments, White Pine volunteers and members of the Morristown Fire department.
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