Fire destroys old IGA building in downtown Kingsport

Viewer contributed fire

KINGSPORT. TN (WJHL) – A news conference is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on a fire that damaged the old IGA building on Sullivan Street in downtown Kingsport.

NEW DETAILS: Two juveniles confess to setting fire to vacant IGA building in Kingsport

The fire started late Thursday afternoon in the abandoned building. Crews had to shut down West Sullivan  Clinchfield, and Press Streets to respond to the fire.

According to KFD spokesperson Barry Brickey, Kingsport firefighters police, Sullivan County EMS and the Kingsport Lifesaving Crew have all responded to the scene.

Brickey said no injuries have been reported. He said there is a lot of smoke coming from the building.

As crews spent hours putting out the blaze, a Kingsport native we spoke with told us he remembers shopping and enjoying in the Sullivan Street shopping center when it was once a bustling grocery store and strip mall.

“It was more of an attraction as much as it was a grocery store,” Rob Ferguson said.

Ferguson said he remembers going down the aisles of the Oakwood Grocery Store before it was the IGA. As he looked at the smoke and flames he said he felt like part of his childhood was taken away from him but he knows this fire will not take away memories.

“It can take away the bricks and mortar stuff but the people who live here in town it will not take away their memories,” Ferguson said.

Brickey tells News Channel 11 many local restaurants like Burger King and Little Caesars pitched in food and drinks. Food City, the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, and the American Red Cross also contributed items. Brickey said the Kingsport City Garage also came out to re-fuel vehicles.

According to Brickey, a reverse 911 call was sent out to people who live nearby to let them know there was heavy smoke in the area.

Kingsport Police Department officials have issued a traffic advisory for the downtown area due to the structure fire, which is in the 400 block of West Sullivan Street.

KPD officers said all east and west traffic should use either Center Street or Stone Drive, and should avoid using Sullivan Street.

Clinchfield Street and Press Street should also be avoided, police said.

The Kingsport Fire Department says it will hold a news conference on the fire Friday morning.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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