Fire In Hixson Leaves 4 Families Homeless

Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Captain Rick Phillips (left) and Lt. Henry McElvain, a fire investigator, survey the damage at 1282 Leaside Lane.
Captain Rick Phillips (left) and Lt. Henry McElvain, a fire investigator, survey the damage at 1282 Leaside Lane.

A gas-fed fire caused considerable damage to four townhomes in Hixson early Wednesday morning. It started around 3:30 a.m. at 1282 Leaside Lane. 

James Gonser said he woke to the sound of popping noises and got up to investigate. He said he went downstairs and saw flames climbing up the walls in the utility room. His 19-year-old son, who was sleeping downstairs, had already made it out of the house safely.

Mr. Gonser alerted his wife, who promptly got their other two children, ages four and eight, safely out of the house. Mr. Gonser said he got a portable fire extinguisher and tried to put out the fire, but he couldn't breathe in the thick smoke and had to get out. Mr. Gonser suffered a little from smoke inhalation and was checked out by paramedics with Hamilton County EMS.

Moments later, the Chattanooga Fire Department was notified and responded with six fire companies. Battalion Chief Rick Sewell said the whole back-side of the townhome was engulfed in flames when the first firefighters arrived. With the fire already spreading to adjacent townhome units, Chief Sewell called for two additional fire companies. The residents in the three adjacent units all got out without injury.

Chief Sewell said the fire was being fed by a ruptured gas line, and they could not find a cut-off valve. Though the gas leak made fighting the fire more difficult, the firefighters eventually got the blaze under control. Three of the four townhomes involved had extensive fire damage. An estimate on the dollar loss was not available. The cause of the fire is under investigation.



1 Person Killed In Wreck On I-75 In Whitfield County

One person died in a crash on I-75 in Whitfield County on Saturday. The wreck happened near exit 348 in the southbound lane. Traffic was backed up for miles after the accident. (click for more)

Over $30,000 Of High-End Men's Clothing Stolen From Hardwick & Co. In Cleveland

Cleveland Police said over $30,000 worth of high-end men's clothing was stolen from Hardwick & Co on Oak Street. The burglary happened sometime Friday night. Items stolen included name brands such as British Belt Company, Dubarry Azores Shoes, Jack of Spades Pants, John Peter London Pants and button down Shirts, Lucky Brand Jeans, and Tailor Byrd Button Down Shirts. ... (click for more)

Save Coolidge Park - And Response (2)

Last Monday morning while at work a good friend messaged me concerning a matter that I had not heard anything about dealing with Coolidge Park and its future. Apparently that night the City Council was to read an ordinance that would allow the mayor to start negotiations with the relocation of the Medal of Honor Museum. This ordinance would enable the city to lease approximately ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Looking For A Wife

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, is a really cool place. I tried to buy a huge mounted buffalo head in an antique store there one time until I found out the shipping charges were four times what the head was worth. But suddenly my rapt attention is riveted on Coeur d'Alene again because a dazzling social experiment is taking place this very moment at a plush resort in north Idaho. Several ... (click for more)

Lookouts Drop First Game Of Second Half In 8-2 Loss To Jackson

The Jackson Generals scored five runs in the third inning on their way to an 8-2 win over the Chattanooga Lookouts. The loss was the Lookouts first of the second half.   Jackson got off to a good start by scoring a quick run in the first inning. Chattanooga annswered in the bottom of the frame with a Mitch Garver single.   The floodgates opened in the third inning ... (click for more)

Prep Football Jamboree is Aug 12-13 at Finley Stadium

Highlighted by a match-up of state semifinalists in Baylor and Notre Dame, the 57th annual Prep Football Jamboree is set for Aug. 12-13 at Finley Stadium with five games each night. Baylor (10-3) reached the D-II AA semis before losing to eventual state champ Brentwood Academy, while Notre Dame (10-4) reached the D-I 3A semis before losing to eventual state champion Alcoa. ... (click for more)