Investigation delays cleanup of burned-out building site



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This building on Commerce Drive in Franklin burned in January, but has not yet been torn down since an insurance investigator is still looking into the fire. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal


This building on Commerce Drive in Franklin burned in January, but has not yet been torn down since an insurance investigator is still looking into the fire. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal


As drivers enter Franklin’s business park, one of the first things they see are the burned remains of a building tucked between manufacturers and office buildings.

The building at 191 Commerce Drive used to house three businesses, but it burned down the day after a large snowstorm in January. Seven months later, the scorched northern half of the building and collapsed southern end have not been torn down.

The holdup is because an insurance company is still investigating what caused the fire, community development specialist Rhoni Oliver said. Franklin Fire Department also had looked into the fire but closed its investigation in early April without being able to determine a cause. The Jan. 6 fire started in the northeast corner of the building, but investigators weren’t able to definitively say what sparked it because snow and ice damaged any evidence.

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