Associated Press Published

Deadline Looms for Volunteer Fire Department in Roane County


A volunteer fire department in Roane County has six months to fix its problems before the State Fire Marshal’s Office closes it.

WCHS-TV reports state fire officials have given the Newton Volunteer Fire Department 180 days to get the department up to par with state guidelines, or they’ll have to shut down.

A recent evaluation found several deficiencies in the department’s equipment.

Newton VFD Fire Chief Christopher Underwood says they’re about $150,000 in the hole, and they need about 16 sets of new gear for firefighters.

Their fire trucks and equipment on them also need to be updated.

Underwood said issues have been building at the department for years. In January, former fire chief Sean Mccarty was charged with embezzling $130,000 from the department. He’s still awaiting trial.