3 Men Arrested After Massive Fire Damages Downtown Buildings - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

3 Men Arrested After Massive Fire Damages Downtown Buildings

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Photo credit:  James A. Willis Photo credit: James A. Willis
Photo credit:  James A. Willis Photo credit: James A. Willis
Photo credit:  James A. Willis Photo credit: James A. Willis

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Three people were taken into police custody early Thursday morning after fire ripped through two buildings in downtown Nashville.

Police arrested Thadford Hornsby, Terry Lee Simpson and Gordon Nunziato. They said three homeless men and broke into a vacant building 13th Avenue South, just south of Broadway, and started a fire to stay warm. 

While the men were asleep the fire quickly became out of control. 

Firefighters were called out just after 10:30 p.m. Wednesday after reports of smoke and flames coming from the building. The men were arrested after police saw them running from the scene.

The fire quickly spread to a second vacant building just adjacent to the first building.  

The second building was a multi-story building. Numerous fire trucks surrounded the scene as flames poured from the sides of the buildings and a massive cloud of smoke rose from the downtown area.

Officials said the smoke created a potential hazard for drivers as it settled across Interstate 40 just west of the fire scene. 

The fire quickly became too dangerous for firefighters to fight from the inside, and the operation became a defensive attack only.

Flames were still coming from the buildings into the early morning hours.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

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