The Franklin Fire Department is investigating the cause of a Christmas day fire that destroyed a downtown Franklin home.
Firefighters were dispatched to the two and a half-story, single-family residence on Berry Circle at approximately 5 p.m. Upon arrival, they observed heavy smoke and flames coming from the roof, according to Franklin Fire Battalion Chief Tyler Crews. Flames were also visible to Franklin Firefighters who were as far away as Station 7, which is located on the grounds of the Williamson County Ag Expo Center. Crews said that three teams of two made an interior attack to attempt to access the fire, however, conditions rapidly worsened, forcing them to quickly withdraw
Crews said the fire appeared to have originated in the attic, which consisted of approximately 1,000 square feet of open, unfinished space. He said the family smelled smoke and discovered the fire upon investigation. They evacuated and notified the fire department. Although 911 lines were not functioning at the time of the fire, one of the family members had received Williamson County’s Everbridge notification, and knew to call the alternate number of 615-790-5550.
Crews said that due to water supply issues, mutual aid from the Williamson County Rescue Squad was requested early on. He expressed his appreciation to WCRS, which responded quickly with three tanker trucks, two pumper trucks, and at least a dozen volunteer firefighters. He said they shuttled water from the former O’More College property, which borders the neighborhood. Crews also expressed appreciation for City of Franklin and Williamson County public works personnel, who responded with salt and salt trucks to help them battle icy conditions.
Crews said that with below-freezing temperatures, ice formed on the ground, and the aerial apparatus, as well as on trees in the yard. He said the ice weighed down the branches, which became a hazard, and contributed to the difficulty in fighting the fire. Crews said one firefighter was injured when he slipped and fell on the ice and hurt his shoulder. Other than that, no injuries were reported.
Firefighters protected a nearby home, which was less than 10 feet away from the blaze. Crews said the loss is estimated at $2 million, and thankfully the damage did not extend to the neighboring home.