Union Grove fire

Fire broke out early Sunday morning at a garage belonging to Union Grove Fire Chief Alvin Shoemaker. The fire destoryed the garage and most of the contents. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

A fire just 100 yards away from the Union Grove Fire Station may have been arson, according to the station's chief.

At around 6:27 a.m. Sunday, a fire began in a mobile home near the fire station. The blaze ultimately engulfed the mobile home, a garage near the station, an old store building and a body shop. Also lost in the fire were seven vehicles, including three show cars - a fully restored 1947 Chevrolet pickup truck, a 1966 Chevelle SS and a 1967 Chevrolet Malibu.

"Everybody in the county came to help," Union Grove Fire Chief Alvin Shoemaker said, noting that every department pitched in some aid. "I really, really appreciate the fire departments."

Roughly $600,000 worth of valuables were lost in the flames and Shoemaker, who is the property owner, said there was no insurance on any of it. He added that he has strong suspicions that it was not an innocent beginning to the fire.

"It looks like somebody set the mobile home on fire," Shoemaker said. "I think it was arson." McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy said he had a detective on the scene and his office has requested state bomb and arson investigators to look into it.

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