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Mountain City home a complete loss after Rainbow Road fire

A home at 1247 Rainbow Road in Mountain City sits in ashes after fire destroyed it last Saturday afternoon. Local authorities are urging residents to be fire safety conscious especially during the holidays. Photo by Tamas Mondovics

By Tamas Mondovics

It took nearly six hours to bring the flames under control after a house fire at 1247 Rainbow road in Mountain City, TN.Sadly, and as it often happens, Neva Volunteer Fire Chief, Shawn Brown told The Tomahawk that the result is a “complete loss” of the home owned by Shirley Maxine Arnold, who recently suffered the loss of her husband Bobby Ray, who was the first to die from COVID in Johnson County.

According to Brown, the call came in at 2:45 p.m. last Saturday and prompted a large number of units and personnel to respond to the scene.

“We had volunteer units respond from every station in the area,” Brown said. “There were approximately 40 firemen and about 15 units at the scene fighting the fire.”

While the loss is heartbreaking, Maxine’s outlook, faith, and hope in her Heavenly Father is an example to all.

“I am Arnold strong,” she said as she talked about losing Bobby Ray, her husband of 46 years. “This fire took things that can be replaced. The sad thing is that there was so much more in that house; our whole life together and so many memories.”

When asked about what she really needed, Maxine did not hesitate and said, “I need lots of prayers.”

Confident of the local support, she added, “We have been blessed. There are so many good people in this county. Next week, I will be sending The Tomahawk a huge thank you to the community and all those who helped me through this yet another tragedy.”

Maxine said she was home when the fire started and managed to get her puppy out to safety before the flames engulfed the home. No one was injured, and the cause of the fire is undetermined at this time.But the incident is just another example of how quickly everything can be lost and a sad reminder to be safety conscious, especially during the holidays.

“Remember to think safety this holiday season,” said Johnson County 911 Communications Assistant Director Kevin Colson.

In offering some safety tips, Colson mentioned to water Christmas trees and don’t overload outlets with decorations and heaters.

“Don’t place packages or items near heaters,’ he said, adding, “check your smoke alarms and review family evacuation and safety plans. Have a safe and happy holiday season.”

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