'Doc Evans House'
Along Orebank Rd.
BY BILL JONES
A fire of undetermined origin early this morning destroyed a landmark Orebank Road house and damaged an adjacent structure, according to the Greene County Sheriff's Department.
No injuries were reported at the house, which was more than 100 years old and known in the community as the "Doc Evans house."
A report filed by Deputy Sheriff Robert Livingston at 3:24 a.m. said the Sheriff's Department received a report of a structure fire at 370 Orebank Road from Greene County 911.
When Deputy Livingston reached the scene, according to his report, he found the house "fully involved" in fire.
His report said a nearby structure located at 350 Orebank Road was damaged by heat from the fire at 370 Orebank Road.
In addition, the fire destroyed a Chevrolet Caprice that had been parked behind the residence at 370 Orebank Road, the report said.
A Thundercraft ski boat that was parked near the house was reported to be damaged.
An investigation is continuing by a Greene County Sheriff's Department fire investigator.
NEIGHBOR REPORTED FIRE
Capt. Nick Combs, of the Orebank VFD, said a neighbor saw the fire about 3 a.m. and reported it.
"I live about two miles from the fire scene," Combs said. "When we were dispatched, I could see the fire from my house."
Combs noted that the house was fully engulfed in flames when the first firefighters reached the scene. No one had been inside when the fire began, he said.
He said the two-story house was "a total loss." It was owned by Angie Garcia, who was not present during the fire,
However, Capt. Combs said a man whom he identified as Mario Garcia, brother-in-law of the owner, had been inside the adjacent structure at 350 Orebank Road and had escaped without injury.
Capt. Combs said the Orebank VFD sent four trucks and 12 firefighters to battle the blaze. John Ottinger, assistant chief of the Caney Branch VFD, said his department sent three trucks and 11 firefighters to fight the fire.
Ottinger said his department trucked water to the fire scene from the Nolichucky River boat ramp on Poplar Springs Road.
The structure was well over a century old and was known in the community as the "Doc Evans house," after Dr. Graydon R. Evans, a former owner who died in 1986 at the age of 82.
Dr. Evans was a physician and community leader in the Orebank community for many years. His office was located for years at 350 Orebank Road, firefighters said.
Mrs. Kathleen Evans, his widow, said today that the house at 370 Orebank Road had belonged to the parents of her late husband, and Dr. Evans was born in the house.
Dr. and Mrs. Evans built a brick home and office on Warrensburg Road in Orebank and moved their residence and his medical practice there in 1961.
After Dr. Evans' death in 1986, the property at 370 Orebank Road was sold by the family.
The house had been damaged by another fire last Sept. 26, Capt. Combs said.
Firefighters from the Orebank, Caney Branch and Midway volunteer fire departments at that time managed to confine the flames to a single bedroom of the house.
Also responding to this morning's fire, in addition to units of the Orebank and Caney Branch VFDs and the sheriff's deputies, were a Greeneville Light & Power System crew, a Greene County-Greeneville Emergency Medical Services ambulance and a disaster services unit from the Greene County Chapter of the American Red Cross.