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


TBI Charges Morgan County Woman With Shooting Her Husband

Special Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have arrested a Morgan County woman accused of shooting her husband on Friday . At the request of 9 th District Attorney General Russell Johnson, TBI Special Agents began investigating the incident, which occurred shortly after 5 p.m. at the family’s home on Morgan County Highway in Sunbright. There, authorities ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADKINS, ERIC WADE  8331 MIDDLE VALLEY ROAD HIXSON, 37343  Age at Arrest: 34 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) ALFORD, JEFFERY LABRON  1549 MTN VIEW COURT CHATTANOOGA, 37409  Age at Arrest: 35 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Could The Marriage Decision Spark A New Independence Day?

I confess that this year I am having a hard time with the idea of celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day. It is not because I am not thankful to God for what was done on that day, what it represents, and the blessings I’ve experienced that flow from it. On the other hand, I want to think that maybe this year’s celebration will mark a period in our history in which a new movement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Fourth Of July, 2015

As one who is about good and fed up with being “socially correct” so less than 10 percent of us can dictate how the other 90 percent of us ought to think, I am going to pause today in order to share a wonderfully fun email that has been around for a while. It is aptly called, “You Could Have Heard A Pin Drop.” Before I do, I got a sweet note the other day from my dear friend ... (click for more)

Weather Clears. Lookouts Drop Double-Header To Barons Friday

The Chattanooga Lookouts (44-31) dropped both game one, 3-1, and game two, 6-1, of tonight's doubleheader against the Birmingham Barons (38-38) in front of a sold-out crowd of 6,371.  This was the largest crowd of the year for Chattanooga and their first sell out of 2015. The Barons improved to 6-11 overall and 4-2 on the road against the Lookouts. Birmingham pulled even ... (click for more)

TSWA Announces All-State Softball Teams

 The Tennessee Sports Writers Association has announced its all-state high school softball teams for 2015. Local selections include: AAA - Kayla Boseman (Fr), Ooltewah and Hallie Davis (Sr), Walker Valley; AA - Kaili Crawley (Fr) of Central; A - McKenna Morgan (Jr), Sale Creek; and, Division II-AA - Lauren Lewis (Sr), Kayla Hughes (Sr) and Cheyenne Lindsey (Fr) of Baylor.  ... (click for more)