A black cloud of smoke hovered over the City of Hartsville on Tuesday, September 25, after Holder’s Tobacco Warehouse, located off East Main Street in Hartsville, caught fire during a roof repair.
According to Trousdale County Mayor Jake West, the fire ignited when roofers were working to repair some of the rubber materials that make up the roof system. The sparks from a torch, used to heat the roof material and form an adhesive bond, are said to be what started the blaze.
According to Trousdale County dispatch, the fire call went out at 10:34 a.m., and it was not long before neighboring community Fire Departments from Lafayette, Smith, Sumner and Wilson Counties responded with assistance. Mayor West stated that Lascassas, Kitrell, Castalian Springs and Ashland City Fire Departments responded as well.
“There are more departments and organizations that were there that I have not mentioned, but at this time I'm still compiling data,” Mayor West remarked. “I will review video at a later date, and I will see that a word of thanks will be sent to each department.”
The morning fire turned into a long afternoon for firefighters, who worked to contain and put out the fire until 10 p.m. that night.
“I would like to thank all those who were involved and those volunteers that took the time out of their day to help provide water and supplies to the firemen,” stated Mayor West. “A big thanks goes out to the EMA of Sumner County. Ken Weidner & Johnny Robertson were on the scene within the hour of the blaze to help organize and stage the set up to contain the fire.”
The Trousdale County Fire Department and the Sumner County EMA were back the next morning to take a survey of the warehouse.
Only one minor injury, involving a Sumner County firefighter, was reported. The injured firefighter was sent to the hospital and arrived back on the scene by the end of the day.
“Again, I can't put into words the appreciation I have for having such great brothers and sisters in our surrounding counties,” he added. “To each of them, I would like to say thank you and God bless you for your service to the citizens in our community.”
According to the Trousdale County Property Assessors Office approximately 100,000 square feet, of the 340,000 square foot warehouse, was burned in the fire. At this time there is no estimate on the quantity of Tobacco that was in storage.
The building, according to the Trousdale County Registers office, was constructed in 1960 as a business called Marlene Garment Factory. In the late 1960's this building housed approximately 980 employees.