Knoxville Fire Department firemens were kept busy Saturday putting out numerous little fires on and around Knoxville College campus that seemed deliberately set, fire officials said.
As firemens respondedreacted to turf fires near the back of the college campus around 8 pm, they likewise discovered two fires inside McGranahan Hall, a previous dormitory, said KPD Assistant Chief Jack Banks.
After snuffing out a little fire on the primary floor, firemens found bed mattress and trash on fire in a second-floor space. A little surge blew the windows out, Banks said. He stated the fires were extinguished within a half-hour.
A few buildings on campus still have power, Banks stated, but McGrananhan did not.
On the other hand, a shed in a street at Beaumont Avenue and Toms Street also was afire, and there was another lawn fire near Wesley House on Reynolds Street.
Firefighters had responded to an earlier yard fire in the same yard Friday night, however no buildings were involved.
Banks said the fires were purposefully set, likely by kids, and an arson examination is continuous.
Jane Redmond, management team leader for the now-closed college, said because the property isn’t really being utilized, its difficult to keep the buildings secure. She said some have had vagrants residing in them.
Its justso vulnerable, the campus, Redmond said. How do you keep them out?
Redmond stated the colleges board is working vigilantly to provide classes at the college again. The historically black college, founded as an instructors college in 1875 as part of the missionary effort of the United Presbyterian Church of The United States and Canada, enclosed 2015. It had only 11 students its last semester.
The board is exploring options to commercially establish a part of the home, Redmond stated, while still maintaining a few of the historic structures as part of the reopened Knoxville College.