Greenback fire claims lives of family dog and cat

By Mark Boxley

More than a dozen firefighters responded to a fire on Hutton Ridge Road in Greenback Monday morning. No one was home, and try as they might, firefighters could not save a pair of family pets trapped inside.

According to Greenback Fire Chief Ronnie Lett, the call came in at 9:45 a.m. from a neighbor. The residence, located at 5905 Hutton Ridge Road, was fully involved, with flames shooting out of every window, when firefighters arrived, Lett said.

The family that lived in the house — described as an older wood-framed residence — had left about 10 minutes before the fire was reported. It appeared the fire started in the living room near the Christmas tree, Lett said.

Fifteen Greenback firefighters arrived at the scene with four trucks at 9:58 a.m. and fought the blaze with the assistance of four Blount County Fire Department personnel, who brought a tanker truck with them to the scene.

The fire apparently reached a 50-gallon propane tank on the back deck, which exploded with a good amount of force.

“It lit up the world,” Lett said, adding that the tank landed in a neighbor’s front yard.

No one was injured in the fire and the ensuing explosion, but a dog and cat that were inside the residence were killed.

Firefighters had the blaze under control by 10:30 a.m. Damage done to the residence was significant, Lett said.

“It’s still standing, but it’s gutted,” he said.

One firefighter — who was observing the scene and not actually fighting the fire — experienced dizziness and was taken to the hospital as a precaution, Lett said.

Firefighters cleared the scene at 12:30 p.m.