Celina leaders say fire at city hall is arson - WKRN News 2

Celina leaders say fire at city hall is arson

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CELINA, Tenn. - City leaders in Celina, Clay County say Friday morning's fire that destroyed city hall is arson.

The blaze broke out just after 2 a.m.

A city police officer noticed the building ablaze and called authorities.

"It was just unbelievable," said Natalie Boone, director of Clay County's Emergency Management Agency.  "I mean [the building] was just fully engulfed and we had every department here."

Firefighters battled the blaze for hours before bringing it under control.

Butch Burnette, captain of the Clay County Rescue Squad, said two firemen were injured.

One fireman suffered from smoke inhalation and the other was injured after debris fell on him.

Both firemen were transported to Cumberland River Hospital but returned to the scene after they were treated and released.

City hall housed the mayor's office and the Clay County Rescue Squad.  Many records inside were destroyed in the fire.

"It is devastating to all of us here because, you know, [there were] records upstairs that had been there for 40, 50, 60 years," Celina Mayor Buddy Thompson told News 2.

Despite the loss, he said the city has already begun to pull together, offering up the use of two nearby buildings until a new city hall can be built.

"We will take one of those buildings until we get our feet on the ground and get a new city hall built," said Mayor Thompson.

Fire officials said the fire is suspicious and remains under investigation.

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