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McClung announcement met with relief for KFD

11:23 PM, Jul 9, 2013   |    comments
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  • KFD Captain DJ Corcoran listens to Mayor Rogero's annoucement Tuesday
  • Capt. Corcoran said the McClung warehouses were on KFD's "DO NOT ENTER" list

(WBIR - Knoxville) On Tuesday, Knoxville firefighters got some very good news.

Mayor Madeline Rogero announced plans for the City of Knoxville to buy the historic McClung warehouses from a bankruptcy trustee for $1.45 million.

That announcement was met with a sigh of relief from the Knoxville Fire Department, who have added the buildings to the department's "DO NOT ENTER" list after a massive fire in 2007. However, KFD and law enforcement have struggled to keep some people out.

"After the fire in 2007, the building set empty. So it was an open invitation for homeless, or for vagrants to come in," explained KFD Captain D.J. Corcoran. "This is definitely one less thing we'll have to worry about, now that we're going to have good tenants in there."

Although the McClung properties now have a solution, Corcoran said there are still other vacant buildings on KFD's radar. One of those is a building on South College's campus. Corcoran said firefighters were called there on Tuesday after a portion of the building fell on somebody inside stripping metal.

The old South High building is also another risk, sitting vacant with an uncertain future.

"That's the worst thing you can do for a building," Corcoran said. "It will just start falling apart. You'll start seeing problems with the roofs, with the floors, and sooner or later it becomes unsafe to go into."

However, hearing words like "retail" and "residential" at the McClung announcement gave Corcoran hope that he and other firefighters in Knoxville will see a safe site at that property once again.

"We're excited about that."

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