A police report, coupled with photos of the aftermath, tell the tale of a fire at the Red Roof Outlet Mall in Pigeon Forge that could have been devastating had it not been for the swift actions of multiple local emergency crews.
While details are still unfolding, it is now clear that the fire that may have rendered one of the mall’s largest stores, Just Stop Smokies gift shop, a complete loss.
Just Stop Smokies is located at 2828 Parkway, Suite 19 and is part of the Red Roof Outlet Mall complex.
The fire broke out on a Monday afternoon, Oct. 5.
According to the police report, Claritza Barrett, a Just Stop Smokies employee was talking to a customer at the register around 2 pm when another customer approached her telling her there was a fire on the left wall across from the register.
Barrett immediately dialed 911 but had to drop the phone when she ran out of the building due to falling debris from the burning roof.
Barrett was the only employee working at the store at the time the fire broke out.
Officer Kyle Andre arrived on the scene shortly thereafter and witnessed a store that was engulfed in flames and black smoke. Andre and fellow officers began to evacuate nearby stores upon arrival.
The Pigeon Forge Fire Department arrived on the scene and requested mutual aid from the Sevierville Fire Department.
Firefighters from multiple crews worked for nearly two hours to contain the fire as neighboring stores looked on in shock.
We spoke to Jamie Woody, store manager of the nearby Lid’l Dolly’s Factory Store around 3:30 pm, who provided photos of the active scene and indicated that the fire was substantial, but praised the efforts of local emergency crews for doing their best to contain the blaze.
“We send our thoughts and prayers to the business(es) involved,” said Woody.
The fire was reportedly under control by 4 pm, according to witnesses on the scene.
Pigeon Forge Police Chief Tony Watson says that fire crew was able to mostly contain the fire to a single building, but described Just Stop Smokies as a “complete loss”.
Watson said surrounding buildings may have suffered minor damage from smoke.
No injuries have been reported and an investigation is ongoing as to the cause of the fire.
The owner of Just Stop Smokies, who has been a part of the Red Roof Outlet Mall for nearly 20 years spoke to WVLT and indicated that he was devastated by the loss.
The Pigeon Forge Factory Outlet Mall is the original factory outlet center in Pigeon Forge. It covers 196,000 square feet and houses major retailers including Carter’s Children’s Wear, L’eggs Hanes Bali Playtex, Rack Room Shoes and Oshkosh B’Gosh.
Just Stop Smokies is a souvenir shop that offers gifts and apparel.
The Red Roof Factory Outlet Mall is an area icon for locals and a favorite stop among tourists.
The mall is located along the main strip of the Parkway in Pigeon Forge.
TheSmokies.com will continue to update this story as more details emerge.