NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Investigators believe a 3-alarm structure fire Tuesday afternoon on 24th Avenue North near Clarksville Pike is suspicious. For nearly five hours, firefighters battled with intense flames and the extreme heat.
Crews responded to the blaze at the former Seventh Day Adventist publishing house around 1:20 p.m. Heavy black smoke could be seen from miles away. PHOTOS: 3-Alarm Structure Fire
The fire went to three-alarms. Two alarms of the alarms because to the size of the fire.
"And the third alarm is so that our guys can rest and other guys can go in and fight the fire," according to Nashville Fire captain Maggie Lawrence.
Officials said 120 firefighters responded to the scene.
Temperatures in Nashville were into the low 90s as crews fought the blaze. Heat coming off the burning structure added to the already hot conditions.
It made the job even more dangerous for firefighters.
"We've got a medic unit here checking blood pressure, taking vitals, just making sure nobody gets hurt by this defensive fire," said Nashville Fire District Chief Buddy Byers.
Firefighters were rotated out and rehabbed in cooling centers where they were give plenty of fluids to drink.
Fire officials said the building was an old factory that has been vacant for years.
A white pick-up truck was seen by neighbors parked near the old factory. It had been there for three days and was on the property moments before the fire started.
"We know it's a white pick-up, but we're not sure of the make or model," according to Nashville Fire District Chief Ricky Taylor.
Arson investigators hope to talk with the person who owns that truck.
"Now we're not actually certain what they were doing and that's what investigators are going to start working on now," Chief Taylor added.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Fire Marshal's Office at 615-862-5230 during business hours or the Arson Hot Line at 1-800-762-3017 which is a phone line dedicated to receiving information about suspicious and incendiary fires.
No firefighters were injured fighting Tuesday's fire and the heat did not get the best of any of Nashville's fire personnel.