logo



Update: Loud explosion heard from Holston Army Ammunition Plant

Matthew Lane • Jan 3, 2019 at 10:42 AM

Video courtesy of Leann DeBord

Update: 3:30 p.m.

KINGSPORT – Fire destroyed a building at the Holston Army Ammunition Plant Thursday morning, with a subsequent controlled burn of the structure triggering an explosion about four hours later.

According to Justine Barati, the Director of Public and Congressional Affairs for Joint Munitions Command, no workers were in the building at the time of either incident. One employee who was in proximity to the initial fire was transported to Holston Valley Medical Center for observation, Barati said, and out of an overabundance of safety.

An alarm sounded near one of the buildings at approximately 8 a.m., indicating a fire. Due to the nature of the work that takes place at HAAP, Barati told the Times News she was not able to identify the building where the fire took place, but noted the 2,400-square-foot structure was near the rear of the installation.

Emergency personnel on site immediately responded to the scene and the building was secured. Barry Brickey, public information officer for the Kingsport Fire Department, said KFD personnel were called in for stand by and were positioned at the fire station inside the plant shortly before 9 a.m. However, the KFD was not requested to assist with the response.

Meanwhile, Barati reported the fire was under control and there was no danger of it spreading off the installation.

“As a precautionary measure and per our safety standards, the emergency siren was sounded,” Barati said. “As always, the health and safety of our employees and the communities where we live and work are always our top priority.”

At about 11:45 a.m., a loud explosion from HAAP could be heard — and in much of the surrounding area, also felt. Barati said the explosion was associated with the controlled burning of the building that had caught fire.

“There were no additional injuries, there is no danger to the community and we all allowing the building to burn to the ground,” she said. “Explosions may occur as part of the controlled burn.”

KFD officials were still on scene at the time of the explosion and according to Brickey, no injuries were reported to them.

Update: 12 p.m.

KINGSPORT – A loud explosion could be heard and felt coming from the Holston Army Ammunition Plant at approximately 11:45 a.m.

According to Justine Barati, the Director of Public and Congressional Affairs for Joint Munitions Command, the explosion was associated with the controlled burning of the building that caught fire Thursday morning.

“There were no additional injuries, there is no danger to the community and we all allowing the building to burn to the ground,” she said. “Explosions may occur as part of the controlled burn.”

No one was in the building at the time of the fire and production crews were sent home shortly after the explosion took place, Barati said.

Barry Brickey, public information office for the Kingsport Fire Department, said no injuries were reported to them following the explosion. KFD officials were still on scene at the time of the explosion.

Folks from as far away as Nickelsville, Va., Gray and Rock Springs were reporting hearing and feeling the explosion. Here’s just a few of the comments to the Times-News Facebook page following the explosion.

- “On Old Stage Road off Memorial Blvd. It sounded like an explosion and shook the house.” - Andrea Kiss.

- “Felt it in Sullivan Gardens. Rattled the windows.” - Amanda Lynne.

- “Arcadia side of Bloomingdale!! My whole house shook!!” - Marcy Taylor-Vance.

- “Heard it in Fall Branch, thought it was thunder.” - Andrea Roberts.

- “Yes I did on Wilcox Drive. My cat fell out of my window.” - Becky Raiha.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Update 11:10 a.m. 

KINGSPORT – Fire destroyed a building at the Holston Army Ammunition Plant Thursday morning with the cause of the incident unknown at this time.

A spokesperson with Joint Munitions Command said the fire was controlled since the beginning of the incident and that there’s no danger of the fire spreading off site.

According to Justine Barati, the Director of Public and Congressional Affairs for Joint Munitions Command, an alarm sounded near one of the buildings at approximately 8 a.m., indicating a fire in the building.

Emergency personnel on site immediately responded to the scene and the building was secured. Due to the nature of the work that takes place at HAAP, Barati told the Times-News she was not able to identify the building where the fire took place, but did note the 2,400-square-foot building was near the rear of the installation and not the front gate.

Barry Brickey, public information officer for the Kingsport Fire Department, said KFD personnel were called in for stand by and were stationed at the fire station inside the plant shortly before 9 a.m. KFD did not assist with the response.

No workers were in the building at the time of the incident. Smoke was seen at the building and one worker in proximity was transported to the Holston Valley Medical Center emergency room for observation, just for an overabundance of safety, Barati said.

The incident is under control at this time and there is no danger of the fire spreading off the installation, Barati said.

“As a precautionary measure and per our safety standards, the emergency siren was sounded,” Barati said. “ As always, the health and safety of our employees and the communities where we live and work are always our top priority.”

The cause of the fire is not known at this time, Barati said.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Previous story

KINGSPORT – A fire was reported at the Holston Army Ammunition Plant Thursday morning. However, the fire was contained in less than two hours, and there was no danger of it spreading off site.

According to Justine Barati, the director of Public and Congressional Affairs for Joint Munitions Command, an alarm sounded near one of the buildings at approximately 8 a.m., indicating a fire in the building.

Emergency personnel on site immediately responded to the scene and the building was secured. Due to the nature of the work that takes place at HAAP, Barati told the Times-News she was not able to identify the building where the fire took place, but did note the building was near the rear of the installation and not the front gate.

Barry Brickey, public information officer for the Kingsport Fire Department, said KFD personnel were called in for standby and were stationed at the fire station inside the plant shortly before 9 a.m. KFD did not assist with the response.

No workers were in the building at the time of the incident. Smoke was seen at the building and one worker in proximity was transported to the Holston Valley Medical Center emergency room for observation, just for an overabundance of safety, Barati said.

The incident is controlled at this time and there is no danger of the fire spreading off the installation, Barati said.

“As a precautionary measure and per our safety standards, the emergency siren was sounded,” Barati said. “As always, the health and safety of our employees and the communities where we live and work are always our top priority.”

The cause of the fire is not known at this time, Barati said.

Kingsport Times News Videos