Officials investigating suspicious fire at Nashville warehouse - WSMV News 4

Officials investigating suspicious fire at downtown Nashville warehouse

Posted: Updated:
The fire started around 2 a.m. Friday on 3rd Avenue North. (WSMV) The fire started around 2 a.m. Friday on 3rd Avenue North. (WSMV)
No one is believed to be inside the building, which is a vacant warehouse. (WSMV) No one is believed to be inside the building, which is a vacant warehouse. (WSMV)
Official said the electricity was previously shut off to the building. (WSMV) Official said the electricity was previously shut off to the building. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Investigators are calling a massive overnight fire in downtown Nashville suspicious.

Firefighters spent more than seven hours putting out the blaze at an abandoned warehouse on 3rd Avenue North near First Tennessee Park.

Part of the building's roof collapsed, rendering the warehouse a total loss.

A passerby called 911 around 2 a.m. after spotting the flames. During the height of the fire, flames reached three to four stories high.

The building used to be the home of Chrome Masters, an auto repair shop that had previously closed. Fire officials said the owner had been trying to sell the property. 

The building's utilities had been shut off and there was no one inside, which is why officials are calling it suspicious. 

District Fire Chief Buddy Byers said crews made the decision not to send firefighters inside and don't plan to even now that the fire is out. 

"The roof fell in, and so it could be burning underneath it, and we've been throwing 1,200 gallons of water on it for like seven hours," Byers said.

Hours after fire crews left the area, Metro Public Works had to suit up to clear the hazardous materials.

“The fire was a different color, which usually means chemicals, so we notified the water department. We don’t know the chemicals inside, but we’ve got some runoff from all that water we’ve been throwing on it,” Byers said.

Neighbors said the property had been vacant for some time.

“The whole property, two parcels was sold to build condos or apartments, but that fell through when there was so much building going on,” said Rob Wey, who lives nearby.

Firefighters said they don’t know where they fire started because they haven’t been able to go inside yet.

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