Knoxville — Walmart employee Pat Gorman was presented with a certificate of appreciation from the Knoxville Fire Department at Monday night's regular city council meeting.
Gorman's quick thinking after a fire was started in the Home Furnishings section of the store on Feb. 3 prevented more damage, according to Fire Chief Jim Mitchell. Gorman used a fire extinguisher to knock the fire down before firefighters arrived.
The fire at Walmart was intentionally set. Two 13-year-old Knoxville boys have been charged with arson and criminal mischief in connection with the fire.
In other action, the council approved a new apparatus driving standard guideline for the Fire/Rescue Department. One of the changes was to reduce the minimum age for authorized drivers from 23 to 18. Mitchell consulted the City's insurer before making this change.
Council also gave permission for the Fire Department to use memorial funds, up to $2,500, to purchase a ceremonial bell. The bell will be used for memorial services and ceremonial events. Mitchell made the request in memory of his father, James F. Mitchell, I, a longtime Knoxville fireman. Chief Mitchell believes that the cost will be between $1,500-1,600 and that there are sufficient funds in his father's memorial to cover the costs.
Look for more on the council in the Feb. 21 print edition.