Gibson County fire results in more than $1 million in damages

GIBSON COUNTY, Tenn. — Around 8 p.m. Monday, the Gibson County Fire Department was dispatched to the 20 block of Highway 79, also known as Gibson Highway, due to an active large structure fire.

The highway was shut down for a brief amount of time due to the large amount of units required to fight the fire.

“When we arrived, the building was fully engulfed and there was two 18 wheelers on fire in front of the building,” said Chief Bryan Cathey, from the Gibson County Fire Department.

According to Cathey, the structure was a mechanic shop where they service their 18 wheelers. The building also served as the owner’s home.

Since the fire was out in the county, there were no fire hydrants available. He said they had to bring in all their water by tankers.

It took them around an hour and a half to get the fire totally under control.

“While we were fighting the fire, there were multiple explosions from settling propane and bottles that were in there that they used to work. We had no firefighters injured. It also set a car on fire that was in front of the building that the gas tank ruptured on it,” Cathey said.

Because of the value of what was lost, the fire is under investigation by not only the Gibson County Fire Department, but also the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

“Actually, state law says that we’re supposed to find the cause and origin of a fire and this one, with such a high dollar loss, we called in TBI to help us with our investigation,” Cathey said.

According to the chief, the owner did not have insurance at the time of the fire, so he asked for help from the Red Cross to assist the owner and his family.

“When people don’t have insurance and lose everything, we contact the American Red Cross to see if they can assist the people, just kind of help them get back on their feet. Stabilize,” Cathey said.

The owner lost the shop, their home, two eighteen-wheeler trucks, two cars, two antique tractors, and all of the owner’s tools and machinery in the fire.

According to those on the scene, the damages totaled more than one million dollars.

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