The dilapidated building that was once Mountain View Lodge in Corbin is still standing following a “suspicious” blaze late Saturday morning.
“When we first arrived, there were several spot fires in every room on the first floor on the back part of the building. We sent entry crews in two different locations to start putting them out,” said Corbin Fire Department Battalion Chief Chad Jackson.
The building, which is located off Exit 25, already had nearly every window broken out with graffiti painted in multiple locations.
The department’s in-house arson investigator will be asked to look into the blaze, which was first reported about 10:23 a.m. The building didn’t have working electricity, gas or utilities, Jackson said.
“I would label it as under investigation and suspicious right now,” he said.
About nine fire trucks from Corbin, Woodbine, Oak Grove, West Knox and Laurel County fire departments responded to the blaze. Woodbine, Oak Grove, and West Knox volunteer fire departments primarily provided tanker support transporting water to the scene as there was no fire hydrant nearby. Laurel County Fire Department responded with an air truck.
All on-duty and off-duty Corbin firefighters responded to the blaze in addition to firefighters from the other four departments.
Jackson said in that addition to putting out the fire, one of the fire departments top priorities when it arrived at the scene was searching the structure to make sure no one was inside, such as homeless people who might have been squatting in the building.
“That is always a big concern. When it is cold outside, they will try and seek shelter in abandoned buildings. That was one of our primary goals too was to get crews inside to make sure nobody was inside, who started a small fire and it got away from them,” Jackson noted.
No one was found inside the building, and no one was injured fighting the blaze.
Jackson said that this was either the third or fourth time the fire department has responded to a fire at the building, but only one prior occasion involved a large scale fire.
“All the other ones have been kind of small and confined to one section of the building,” he said.