HAMBLEN TWP. — An overloaded electrical switch caused half of a garage to burn in the 3700 block of Gatesville Road on Jan. 12.
Hamblen Township Volunteer Fire Department Chief Arlan Pierce said the multi-switch had three heat lamps for animals, a mattress warmer and a water pipe heater plugged into it.
When firefighters arrived at around 7:30 p.m., the back southwest corner of the garage was completely engulfed and flames had spread into the attic, Pierce said. He said at least half of the structure up to the roof was lost.
The homeowner was able to move an antique vehicle and motorcycle out before they were damaged, Pierce said.
Firefighters were on scene for about three hours, and then were called back at 7:30 a.m. the next morning for a rekindle. Pierce said embers dropped between the outside wall and the framing when the wind picked up overnight, setting the insulation on fire.
Due to cold, Pierce said the pump on Hamblen Fire’s small tanker cracked when it ran out of water.
“By the time we got water in and got back, we got ready to pump it and it wouldn’t work. We could still dump water with it and use it as a straight tanker, but we can’t pump with it anymore for right now,” he said.
Pierce said he was working with Hoosier Fire Equipment Inc. to get it fixed.