Harding Inn fire deemed aggravated arson by officials - WSMV Channel 4

Harding Inn fire deemed aggravated arson by officials

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Multiple people had to be rescued from balconies during Tuesday night’s fire. Multiple people had to be rescued from balconies during Tuesday night’s fire.
This is the second time the building has caught fire in less than a year. This is the second time the building has caught fire in less than a year.
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The Nashville Fire Department says the fire at the Harding Inn has been ruled aggravated arson. 

Nashville Fire Chief Ricky White said the blaze on Harding Place near Interstate 24 was caused by a money dispute between two people who were living in the abandoned motel.

The building was supposed to be vacant, but fire officials said they knew multiple people were living there. They visited the building on Monday to see how many people were living there and to evaluate fire danger and safety. 

White said the property owners have been ordered to provide around-the-clock security to make sure nobody occupies the building until it is demolished or deemed safe by the fire department.

Multiple people had to be rescued from balconies during Tuesday night’s fire.

“There were people out on the balconies and there were flames coming out of the windows,” said Brian Haas with the Nashville Fire Department. “So we immediately got ground ladders up, just propped on the ground, and we took the people down from there."

Two people had to be transported to the hospital, but their injuries were not serious. 

“They were frantic,” Haas added. “It was not a pleasant scene. But fortunately we were able to get them out without anybody being seriously harmed.” 

The Harding Inn was shut down five years ago but has become a home to squatters. From 2009 to 2010, officers responded to about 300 separate calls for everything from drugs to prostitution.

Less than a year ago, a homeless man was severely burned inside the building. A can of gasoline was found near the scene, and officials said they believe it was set on purpose. The man was treated for burns to his hands and arms. 

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