The Loudon County Courthouse caught fire Tuesday evening, according to witnesses and the Lenoir City fire department.
The fire department had crews on the scene but could not initially confirm the severity. After three hours of fighting the fire, officials said the historic structure could be a total loss.
“I’ve talked to a few of the firemen that have been inside,” Loudon County Mayor Buddy Bradshaw told WATE 6 On Your Side. “Right now it’s almost looking like it’s going to be a total loss. And that’s heartbreaking…. We’re going to try and save our courthouse. This is a lot of history in this building and hopefully were going to be able to save it and make it as good as new.”
The historical structure was initially built as a courthouse in 1872. The Annex was built in the 1990s.
According to the National Register of Historic Places, the courhouse was registered as a historic landmark in 1975.
The courthouse, located at 601 Grove St. near Mulberry Street, caught fire sometime Tuesday evening. Investigators have not said what may have caused the fire.