Two juveniles confess to setting fire to vacant IGA building in Kingsport

(Source: Karissa Winstead, WJHL)

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) –  Kingsport authorities say two juveniles have confessed to setting fire to a vacant building in the downtown area.

The Kingsport Fire Department says the call came in around 3:13 p.m. on Thursday. Fire crews arrived on the scene within minutes of the call with nearly 30 firefighters responding, initially.

KFD says it appears the fire started inside the building — when fire crews arrived at the scene, they saw flames coming from the front of the building.

Firefighters quickly determined there was no visibility inside and called off an “interior attack of the building” and set up a “defensive exterior attack.”

Multiple people were in the area at the time of the fire.

The Fire Marshal’s Office says witnesses were questioned and allegedly told authorities they saw two juveniles in the area. The two suspects were quickly identified and with the assistance of the Kingsport Police Department, authorities said they have confessions from the juveniles.

Charges are pending against the juveniles, both are boys.

Paula Jarrell lives across the street from the fire.

“It’s sad. It’s sad to see it happen, it’s sad to see young people in trouble,” Jarrell said.

There were no injuries reported.

As the fire progressed, Barry Brickey spokesperson for the Kingsport Fire Department said firefighters were called in for relief as the scene progressed.

The Kingsport Fire Department reports the scene is still dangerous and it is still not safe to go inside. Fire crews remained on the scene until early this morning.

News Channel 11 was told several other agencies responded including local police, the Kingsport Public Works department, Kingsport Life Saving Crew, Sullivan County EMS and the American Red Cross.

It’s estimated 1.5 million gallons of water was used to battle the blaze.

KFD says it would like to thank the community for its help in making sure firefighters were hydrated and fed.

“The KFD would like to thank Food City, Burger King, Little Caesar’s, Subway and the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce for food, water, and supplies on [the] scene”.

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