Franklin Fire Marshal Andy King ruled the fire that significantly damaged the Red Pony restaurant in downtown Franklin Saturday morning was accidental.
The cause is still unknown, and the investigation is ongoing.
King said Franklin Fire Department investigators are working with private investigators hired by the property insurer. Due to structural instability, they haven’t yet been able to access all areas of the building to complete their investigation. He said they hope to have more answers later this week.
The fire started on the lower level in the rear of the historic two-story building, located at 408 Main Street. King estimated damage at $300,000.
“While this was a big loss to our community, the damage could have been much worse,” he said. “A combination of early detection and notification, a quick response and solid tactical decisions by firefighters, and the automatic fire sprinklers led to a positive outcome.”
King said more fire sprinkler heads activated than investigators originally thought.
“At least four or five fire sprinkler heads activated on the first and second floors of the building, which helped to prevent the fire from spreading to adjacent buildings,” he said.
To learn more about how to equip your building with fire sprinklers and take advantage of the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act, contact King at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-550- 6752.