COPPERHILL, Tenn. (AP) — A fire early Tuesday destroyed Tennessee’s Ocoee Whitewater Center, which served as the host site for paddling events during the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. Polk County Emergency Management Agency Director Steve Lofty told the Chattanooga Times Free Press the blaze had engulfed about 90% of the structure by the time a full fire response got to the scene on the Ocoee River. Located in the remote hills of the Cherokee National Forest, the Ocoee Whitewater Center was built to host events such as kayaking and canoeing in the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. Polk County County Executive Robby M. Hatcher says it’s a big loss for the community.
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