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Fire displaces retirement home residents
Oct 18, 2006 12:00 am
All residents emerged safely from a fire at a retirement center on Carthage Highway Friday night.
A fire apparently broke out in a shower vent at Johnson's Retirement Home about 7 miles from the Smith County line around 5:30 p.m. Friday, with agencies from Smith County as well as Wilson Emergency Management Agency responding.
WEMA Director Jerry McFarland said residents were evacuated in a timely fashion and taken to a church across the street. A representative for the retirement center said families were being contacted to pick up their relatives.
McFarland said the fire spread quickly from the shower vent.
"It started with a vent fan in the shower … and it got right into the attic," McFarland said. "… There's a lot of crosswalls in there that kept it from moving too fast."
He said the fire was kept somewhat contained, but that there was extensive water damage inside the retirement home.
But no one will be allowed to move back into the retirement home anytime very soon, McFarland said.
"It'll be a while," McFarland said. "They've got a lot of cleanup and repair to do before anybody can go back in there."
Retirement home Operations Manager Monica Dabbs said medicines for residents were removed from the facility, and they were working to contact families to pick up relatives as of press time.
In addition to WEMA and the Wilson County Sheriff's Department, the Rock City-Rome, Smith County District 4 and Central District all responded to the blaze.