If Charles English hadn't been there working last night, a Music Row building containing a studio used by the likes of Elvis Presley and Neil Diamond might have been seriously damaged in a two-alarm fire.
English, who owns a music publishing company, alerted emergency workers to the fire that hit the three-story brick and stone office building at 30 Music Square W. about 7:15 p.m.
"You wouldn't normally … think (the building) would be occupied at this time," said Assistant Nashville Fire Chief Kim Lawson. "That fire would have progressed rapidly" if English hadn't discovered it.
The fire wasn't large, started in a first-floor office area and caused smoke damage throughout the building, Lawson said. The cause of the fire was unknown, she said, and no one was hurt. The building didn't have sprinklers.
An hour after the fire alarm was called in, firefighters were still trying to clear out smoke.
"The building itself was opened in 1964 as headquarters for RCA Records in Nashville," said Michael Janas, who manages RCA Studio B for the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum and Belmont University's Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business.
When the building was completed, Janas said, it contained mastering facilities, small recording studios and one studio the size of a large high school gym and designed to hold a symphony orchestra. It was dubbed Studio A and the older studio next door became known as Studio B, he said.