Fire officials are still investigating what sparked two Seymour fires,
happening just hours apart.
Firefighters say the first fire broke out around 5:00 p.m. Friday at Seymour
Flea Market on Chapman Highway. Seymour Volunteer Firefighter Lt. Evan Underwood
said he was on the first responding engine and knew the fire was a big one.
"We were still probably two miles out whenever we first started seeing
the smoke. It was very, very dark and a lot of it so we could tell it was going
to be good before we got there," Lt. Underwood said.
Volunteer Firefighter Andrew Scruggs also fought the Seymour Flea Market
Fire, which was a challenge. Scruggs said, "With the construction and the
obstacles, it was hard. And it had a very large layout, as well.
Also among the many firefighters fighting the blaze was Volunteer
Firefighter Bryan Cramer, who just completed the academy.
Cramer said, "It
was a little intimidating at first, but you calm yourself down and you try to
control that adrenaline and then your training kicks in and you know what you
need to do and you just get the job done."
Flames and smoke destroyed the 40-year-old building, which took firefighters
hours to extinguish. Crews worked until the early morning Saturday containing
But no sooner had they put out that fire, another started. This time around
4:30 a.m. Saturday at East Tennessee Wood Products on Sevierville Road. The
owner of the business and officials said the fire started on a sawdust hopper.
Coincidentally, the fire broke out across the street from Seymour Volunteer
Fire Department's Station 4. No structural damage was done, but the owner said
the equipment was damaged.
Despite the stress 24 hours, the Seymour volunteer firefighters say its work
they enjoy doing.
"You have to be a special person and have a real desire to do this job.
Spend seven hours on a fire, come home and think I can relax, and then boom
you're out the door again," said Cramer.
Lt. Underwood said, "It's very hard to do, being all volunteer. That's
what we love."
Several other agencies helped Seymour Volunteer Fire Department put out both
The Seymour Volunteer Fire Department is always looking for more volunteers
and has received a SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response)
grant, which provides tuition reimbursement for nine live-in firefighters up to
$8,000 per year. For more information, call (865) 851-1157.