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Spa/salon damaged by fire, sprinklers

A weekend of uncontrolled fire sprinkler activity sparked by a candle will keep a West Knox spa closed for more than two weeks.

Madison, a Unique Retail Store and Day Spa, located at 264 C North Peters Road, has been closed since Monday, Nov. 8, because of a fire in the spa/salon.

Ann Heath, Madison owner, said the majority of the damage was due to the sprinkler system running from Saturday night (Nov. 6) through Monday morning (Nov. 8).

Heath, who was returning from Chattanooga the morning the damage was discovered, said the alarm system that was supposed to alert the fire department did not deploy.

“Hindsight is twenty-twenty,” she said. “I don’t know what went wrong with the alarm system but the sprinklers worked well.”

Heath said the fire department determined a candle that had been extinguished Saturday evening upon closing the shop had somehow re-ignited. The candle burned down melting the other candles on the rack and a fire started in the surrounding area.

She said the sprinkler system went off immediately, but the alarm never went off.

Donna Young, manager of Executive Cleaners, which is in the same strip mall, arrived for work at 7 a.m., Monday, Nov. 8.

“When I got to work, there was water everywhere,” she said. “It was running through the parking lot and around the side of the cleaners.”

Young said she walked down to Madison and looked in the windows, and the windows were fogged.

“You could not see in the windows and water was coming out from under the door,” she said.

Young said she called the fire department. When they arrived, they broke the windows, turned off the sprinkler system and checked for damage.

“The firefighters walked in on ankle deep water,” Heath said.

City of Knoxville Fire Marshal Roger Byrd said, “For some reason, the fire alarm was not mounted on the building as it should have been and therefore the fire department was not alerted to the fire.”

Byrd theorized that either a maintenance person may have taken the alarm down or it could have been the result of vandalism.

“The sprinklers worked well and put the fire out but they ran continuously all weekend,” he said.

Madison employs 15 associates, who are currently cleaning and conducting inventory on the merchandise that was not damaged. The furniture has been moved to an empty area next door and the carpet has been removed.

Jim Wilson of Designer Kitchen and Bath was cleaning the furniture and assessing the amount of water damage to the permanent fixtures. Heath has rented fans and placed them throughout the spa in order to dry the walls, floors and stationery fixtures. She said she has been working with her designers and advertisers in order to ensure a timely opening.

Madison associate Lisa Pullin said, “We will do whatever it takes to get the shop up and running.”

Madison has been in business in its new location for more than a year.

Heath said she plans to reopen Monday, Nov. 22, at 9 a.m.


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