Briefs for March 22, 2022

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Church burglary interrupted by police 

A 29-year-old man was allegedly caught in the act of burglarizing a West Knoxville church Friday night. 

The break-in was discovered by Knoxville Police Department officers who responded to a possible burglary-in-progress shortly before midnight Friday at Piney Grove Baptist Church at 2109 Piney Grove Church Road, according to KPD officials.

The officers arrived to find a broken window and a broken door knob at the church’s front entrance.

“After creating a perimeter around the building, responding officers spotted the suspect at a side door and took him into custody without incident,” a KPD spokesperson said.

The suspect — identified as Anthony Michael Dull — was dragging a paper shredder towards the door when he exited the building, according to an arrest warrant filed by KPD Officer Luis Sanchez-Castillo.

“After taking the defendant into custody, officers observed the defendant to have very erratic behavior, along with very disorganized thoughts,” Sanchez-Castillo wrote. “The defendant admitted to using methamphetamine earlier that day.” 

Dull, who gave a Knoxville address, was charged with burglary, court records show.  

Cooking fire damages apartments 

A Monday morning blaze that damaged two apartments in East Knoxville was apparently caused by someone who left their cooking unattended, authorities said.

The fire was reported at 11:03 a.m. at a house at 1914 McCalla Avenue that had been split into two apartments, according to Assistant Chief Mark Wilbanks of the Knoxville Fire Department. 

“Upon arrival initial crews reported light smoke showing from the building. Initial fire crews were able to gain entry into the building and a fire in the upstairs kitchen was discovered,” Wilbanks said. 

All seven occupants of the building were alerted by the smoke alarms and escaped without injury, he said. 

“The apartment in which the fire was located has sustained heavy damage to the kitchen and smoke and water damage throughout. The adjacent apartment has suffered moderate water and smoke damage,” he continued. “Unattended cooking items (have) been determined as the cause of the fire.”

Cooking fires are to blame for approximately half of all residential fires in the United States, he added. 

The Knoxville Fire Department provides smoke alarms to non-commercial residents of Knoxville free of charge. Please call 311 to schedule an appointment for an installation.

Published on March 22, 2022.