Boy, 9, Charged In Dollar General Store Arson

Wednesday, April 15, 2009
- photo by Brent McDonald (See video on Channel 9)

Chattanooga fire investigators have charged a nine-year-old boy with aggravated arson and reckless endangerment in connection with the fire he admitted starting at the Dollar General Store in Hixson on late Tuesday afternoon.

Lt. Anthony Moore with the Fire Investigation Division said the youth was taken to the Juvenile Detention Center on Tuesday night and was expected to go before a Juvenile Court judge this morning to face the charges.

The boy told firefighters that he was mad at his mother so he walked to the rear of the store and set rolls of bathroom tissue on fire. He said he used matches that were on display not far from where the bathroom tissue display was located. The boy said he watched the fire grow for a while, and then made his way out the front entrance.

The boy's mother turned her son over to the fire investigators when her son told her that he started the fire.

The fire destroyed the store at Hixson Pike and Highway 153.

Store Manager Tammy Laney was the first adult to discover the fire when she started smelling smoke. When she discovered the fire, she initially tried to put the flames out herself, but was unsuccessful. It was also becoming difficult for her to breathe. She then got everyone out of the store and called 911.

The Chattanooga Fire Department received the call at 5:45 p.m. and responded with six fire companies to 4852 Hixson Pike. At first, it appeared that the firefighters would be able to get the fire under control fairly quickly, but the fire got into the attic and was difficult to locate in the thick, black smoke. The firefighters made an interior attack and tried to use thermal imaging cameras to locate the fire. However, other firefighters noticed that the roof was beginning to sag, so the order was given to evacuate the building for the safety of the firefighters.

As the fire continued to spread, Battalion Chief Bob Dixon called for a second alarm response to bring in additional firefighters and equipment. The firefighters set up four aerials with master streams, along with several firefighters who used handheld hoselines, and they eventually got the blaze under control.

No injuries were reported.

The firefighters did manage to keep the fire from destroying an adjacent building, which was previously a grocery store but is now vacant.

The Dollar General Store and its contents will be considered a total loss. The store employed seven people.

Chattanooga Police, Hamilton County EMS and Chattanooga-Hamilton County Rescue also provided assistance on the scene.


View Dollar General Store In Hixson Burns in a larger map


Cleveland Fire Department Responds To 2 Fire Calls Over The Weekend

Cleveland Fire Department Engine No. 1 responded early  Sunday  to 465 Montgomery Ave. around  7:23  a.m. on a car fire. Upon arrival crew members found a vehicle with smoke coming from the engine compartment. The fire was quickly extinguished utilizing a hose stream. The fire was contained to the vehicle and no injuries were reported. All ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: AR-RAHMAAN, CHRISTIANA ALISA 632 MAPLE STREET COURT APT 226 CHATTANOOGA, 37402 23 Hamilton County VIOLATION OF PROBATION (POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA) BINFORD, JUSTIN TAYLOR 6712 DIXIELAND DR HIXSON, 37343 26 Red Bank POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA BINGHAM, TIFFANY TENNILLE 211 HILLCREST ... (click for more)

We Need The Chattanooga History Center

Having been on several of Dr. Daryl Black's walking tours, I can say that they weren't just informative, but a treat. The downtown, Fort Wood and Ninth Street of yesteryear were brought dramatically to life. We stood on the ground where Sherman had his headquarters (near the Ice Cream Show) and the corner where Bessie Smith sang as a young girl. And we also stood beneath the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Big (Un)Easy: Mardi Gras

Not since Hurricane Katrina has New Orleans had a bigger problem. When over a million visitors flood the city for the annual Mardi Gras bash over the next three weeks, there will be signs all around town and into the French Quarter that blare, “CAUTION: Walk In Large Groups. We (heart symbol) love NOPD. We Just Need More Of Them.” In other words, it appears things are quite unsettled ... (click for more)

No. 25 UTC Women Defeat Samford, 49-32

“I think it’s great for grade school kids all over the country because they will learn how to spell Chattanooga because it will be in their local paper. That’s the best thing about it. There are Chattanooga graduates all over the place and they can pick up and go to the agate page and see if Sportscenter knows how to spell.” -- UTC women’s basketball coach Jim Foster ... (click for more)

Baylor Wrestlers Set to Defend State Duals Title

Ranked No.1 in this week's wrestling poll and boasting a 22-1 season dual match record, Baylor is the favorite to win the TSSAA D-II state duals this weekend at the Williamson County Ag Expo in Franklin. Friday Jan. 30 - Baylor opens with tourney against Brentwood Academy at 3:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals and a win puts them in Friday night semis (8:30 p.m. EST) ... (click for more)