The quiet community of Franklin got a loud wake up call this morning when a small fire grew into a blaze that could be seen for miles.
Fire officials say a room in the old Franklin hospital caught on fire and then quickly spread to the adjacent building.
Both buildings were believed to be vacant when the fire began but officials searched the inside just to be safe.
"You know the electricity went out, and when you're in there you can't really hear anything outside. Half an hour or 45 minutes later I guess there was somebody who broke down the door, looking to see if there was anybody in here. They were beating on the door. That is what woke me up," said Mike Stewart, the building's owner.
It was that wake up call that saved Stewart and his family's lives.
Stewart and his family had lived in the building for around twenty years, but in a flash they had to endure the helpless feeling of watching it all go up in flames.
"You start thinking about everything in there that's burning you've had since you were a kid. You know I should have grabbed this or that. I couldn't really get anything. I tried to start grabbing stuff, and I grabbed what I could, but they wouldn't let me back in after while. I lost pretty much everything."
The devastation of the blaze that was once thought to have the potential to engulf the whole block was contained efficiently by five different fire departments keeping the loss to a minimum.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation and arson has not yet been ruled out.
The Red Cross set up a shelter at four o'clock this afternoon for the families displaced due to the fire. The shelter is located at the First United Methodist Church on North College Street in Franklin.