portable toilet

Renovated home of Attorney General’s office scorched by burning portable toilet

Scorch marks are seen on the John Sevier State Office Building in Nashville on Nov. 24, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The renovated building that is home to Attorney General Herbert Slatery and the protective detail of the Tennessee Highway Patrol suffered exterior damage this week when an outdoor portable toilet caught on fire.

Slatery and his staff had just returned to the John Sevier Building after a $54 million update of the facility that first opened in 1940.

Barriers erected by construction crews had just been removed from outside the building last week. Officials are investigating what caused the fire in the portable toilet. The THP’s move back into their space will be delayed because most of the damage was concentrated near their space.

The fire caused mostly superficial smoke and water damage, though some windows also appeared to have been broken. The damage is expected to be covered by insurance, so it won’t add to the renovation price tag.

A truck belonging to Gov. Bill Lee’s plumbing and HVAC company was staged outside the Sevier Building in the aftermath of the fire. The governor has said the Lee Co. would no longer do work for state government following his election in 2018. A spokeswoman said this week the company is not involved in state business.

A Lee Company truck is parked outside the John Sevier State Office Building on Nov. 24, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)