On Wednesday, December 21st, at around 4:00 in the morning, Clay County sheriff’s deputy Jeff Gentry and the Hermitage Springs Fire Department responded to a fire on Nimm Road. Upon arrival, they discovered the fire was coming from local logger Channie Newberry’s skidder, which sat on the property of the late Charles Clark. Newberry, who has been working on the property since May, says the skidder had been sitting on the property for around two weeks prior to the fire.
Newberry says he purchased the skidder in the summer and “had done some work on it, and some improving on it mechanically.” He adds that he had no insurance on the skidder, resulting in an estimated $25,000 loss.
Newberry also says that he believes the skidder was “intentionally burned.” He says there is evidence of some sort of highly flammable substance, which he believes may have been gasoline, poured onto and into the skidder before it was set on fire. He adds that the substance being poured into the skidder resulted in the engine being burned, as well as the body.
Newberry says he has contacted the District Attorney of the 13th district of Tennessee, which includes Clay County, to request help to “vigorously investigate” the burning.
He reiterates that he believes it was an “intentional job” because “the machine has sat there two to three weeks, so there wasn’t an electrical fire…”
The Clay County Sheriff’s Department says they took a report and an investigation is being conducted, but they had no further information at this time.
Reach Kayla Fleming at 615-666-2440.