CLEVELAND - A residential fire in the south part of White County Monday morning heavily damaged a residence and caused a scare for some firefighters, but no one was hurt.
The fire call to 5541 Highway 75 South was dispatched at 10:25 a.m. The fire was in a home that was formerly a restaurant and store, according to fire officials.
White County Fire Department spokeswoman Ana Newberry said the homeowner told her that as he was "putting clothes into the dryer, walked away from it for a moment. By the time he came back the dryer was fully engulfed. He couldn't get it extinguished, but he tried, so he just came out of the structure."
Newberry said that was a smart move on the part of the homeowner and not just because of the flames.
"It was a very old home, so you have asbestos and other chemicals that are not good to breathing," she said.
Newberry said a section of the ceiling of the home collapsed on some firefighters, but added, "Everyone is okay."
Dana Young, brother of the homeowner, said that the building was formerly known as Rock Springs Diner and Store. He said his parents operated the businesses there until the mid 1960s before it was closed. He and his brother had just started remodeling work on the structure.
Two fire units from White County, one from the City of Cleveland and the firefighting team from Lee Arrendale State Prison in Alto battled the blaze.
A section of Highway 75 between Bethel Church Road and Highway 254 had to be shut down to traffic for about two hours because of fire trucks in the road.