Historic McClung Warehouse Being Demolished – VIDEO

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KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE – J.W. Demolition, a Charlotte, NC demolition firm, began tearing down what’s left of the McClung Warehouses in downtown Knoxville on Sunday.

After last week’s fire, there was no hope of saving the structure.

Knoxville Fire Marshal Danny Beeler said, “Unfortunately this building was to a point, it had to come down.”

Crews explained the demolition is a time to focus on the future of downtown Knoxville.

“These blotted buildings were the site of Knoxville when people drove through. So, in that retrospect, it’s going to be good that we can get some new construction in here, get some development and make it a good landscape for Knoxville,” said Beeler.

Fire crews tell Local 8 News they have an idea of who started the fire.

“We are still investigating. We are talking to people who know this building, people that are familiar with the building, and have been in there recently. We’re still looking for a few people. It’s ongoing,” Beeler explained.

Fire crews say the city’s cameras may have captured the culprits.

“The video is real time, so we have to look at it, minute by minute. We can’t fast forward or we might miss someone going in or out,” said Beeler.

Crews will try to save what they can piece by piece.

It could take nearly three weeks to clear all of the debris.

The metal will be recycled, and the demolition is expected to cost nearly $130,000.