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Investigation underway following fire at Regional Skills Center in Kimball on Thursday

An investigation is now underway into what caused an early morning fire on Thursday at the former Chattanooga State building which housed the Regional Skills Center in Kimball.

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The 50-year-old building located on Battle Creek Road is believed to have caught fire sometime in the early morning hours and burned for several hours before someone noticed and called 9-1-1, according to investigators.

The resulting fire produced smoke that could be seen throughout the Kimball area and from Interstate 24 during the morning commute as crews worked most of the day to contain the blaze, even using a bulldozer and tearing at parts of the building to allow firefighters to access the flames.

Both floors of the building which was known most recently for helping those in the area find work and by offering classes such as welding and electrical to area students at another building on the site.

The Regional Skills Center building was considered a total loss, however, fire crews were able to contain the fire and keep it from spreading to the building where some of those vocational classes are offered.

Marion County Mayor David Jackson says the American Job Center and the Adult Education Center were set to move into a new location soon. They will work from a temporary location in the meantime.

Classes in the other building are set to resume on Monday.

Fire investigators are continuing to look into what caused the blaze. Stay with us for the latest on this story.

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