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A large mulch fire broke out near downtown Knoxville on Sunday, and with it came a massive cloud of smoke that can be seen hovering over the area even today.

(Photo by Saul Young/News Sentinel)

There is plenty of talk on social media about the effects of the fire — namely the awful smell that’s taken over the city and fear of potential harm from carbon monoxide — and we at the news Sentinel are no exception.

(This is a photo from News Sentinel sports designer Dave Goddard of ash from the fire covering his car when he left work last night.)

The KNS building, coincidentally, is right across the way from Shamrock Organic Products, where the blaze broke out. So today, when I came in, I understood more completely what everybody was complaining about.

The smoky smell in our newsroom is overpowering, even more than it is outside, likely because it’s trapped within our walls. Initially we all laughed when Tom Chester, our managing editor, offered up respirator masks — but it actually helped quite a bit.

(That’s me, donning a mask, and Jack Lail and Lauren Spuhler in the background.)

Goofy photo aside, the fire has affected many Knoxvillians directly or indirectly.

News Sentinel photographer Saul Young shot some great video and photos yesterday of the fire after it first broke out. And today, E.W. Scripps software engineer Mark McIntyre shot photos from our building’s roof that really put it into perspective.