By

Staff Reports

Fire destroyed a South Mt. Juliet Road home Friday evening and killed four pets caught inside due in part to a lack of water.

Wilson Emergency Management Agency firefighters went to the home at 1712 S. Mt. Juliet Road at 5:40 p.m. and found it half involved in fire. In September, authorities served a search warrant and confiscated drugs, guns, cash and other items at the home. However, the current and former residents weren’t the same people.

Two WEMA fire engines and an ambulance arrived first Friday evening. Firefighters started to fight the fire, but discovered the nearest hydrants were a half-mile away in either direction at Central Pike or Breckenridge Drive.

A third engine and a tanker truck arrived and shuttled water to supply pumper trucks at the top of a long driveway near the home. A fourth engine arrived to help shuttle water and provide more manpower to fight the fire.

“During the fire attack, a wall collapsed making the fire a defensive attack only,” said WEMA director Joey Cooper.

Due to the heavy fire throughout the home and deteriorating conditions, several walls and roof areas collapsed, which ruptured firefighters’ hoses. WEMA firefighters knocked down most of the fire, but with the floor unstable, they were unable to enter the home and put out remaining hot spots. Mt. Juliet firefighters were called to the scene and they brought a ladder truck, which was used to put out the majority of the remaining fire while WEMA firefighters pulled down the brick walls and put out any hot spots that remained. Firefighters fought the blaze for nearly seven hours, but the home was a total loss.

Wilson County Rehab 23 volunteers were at the scene and offered food, drinks and aid to firefighters. The Mt. Juliet Chick-fil-A donated sandwiches for the firefighters.

City of Mount Juliet Police Officers diverted southbound traffic to Central Pike while Wilson County Sheriff’s Deputies assisted with traffic control at the scene. Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corp. workers cut the power to the home.

No one was injured in the fire, but four pets died in the blaze. Red Cross volunteers were called to help the residents. A donation drive was set up following the fire at facebook.com/donate/562258444284704, and nearly $4,000 was raised as of Sunday night.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation, and the Tennessee State Bomb and Arson Task Force will reportedly assist Monday in the investigation.

In late September, the Wilson County sheriff’s special response team and Lebanon police’s SWAT team, along with assistance of Mt. Juliet police, charged a wanted teenage boy and confiscated guns, drugs, stolen property and cash at the home in an unrelated case.

Authorities found three guns, including one stolen from a home invasion in Rutherford County, various drugs, including cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana and LSD, and large sums of money believed to be involved in drug distribution.

Authorities believed they would find evidence connected to crimes associated with vehicle burglaries in Wilson and Davidson counties.

The search warrant also listed a teenage boy who had two active juvenile petitions from Davidson County for aggravated robberies. Authorities found about 15 people inside the home, including the boy, who was wanted in Davidson County.

“We were able to collectively execute a search warrant on a residence where numerous drugs and firearms were present, as well as apprehend a juvenile who was involved in violent crimes out of the Metro area,” said Sheriff Robert Bryan at the time. “This is just another example this potentially could’ve posed the public and to the officers. We are working every day with our local and surrounding agencies to combat drug distribution and to keep weapons out of the wrong hands. Many of these suspects were also associated with vehicle burglaries, and we cannot stress enough the importance of securing your vehicle every time you leave it unoccupied.”

The boy was taken to Davidson County, and five other suspects faced numerous drug and firearm charges, which were pending the outcome of a Wilson County grand jury investigation, the results of which were not known.