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.



Sign Up To Get The Latest News, Opinions From Chattanoogan.com In Real Time; Win Set Of Chattanooga Photo Books

Sign up for our Facebook and Twitter feeds and you will get the  local news in "real time." You will also be entered for a chance to win the complete set of the Chattanooga Photo Books published by Chattanoogan.com. We will give away three sets of The Remarkable Stokes Collection, Railroads In and Around Chattanooga and Paul Hiener's Historic Chattanooga to our new Facebook ... (click for more)

Fort Oglethorpe Arrest Report For June 16-22

Here is the Fort Oglethorpe arrest report for June 16-22: 06-16-17 Samuel Kalil Hutchinson, 20, of 101 Ireland Lane, Chickamauga arrested on charges of violation of Georgia’s controlled substance act, possession of marijuana, no proof of insurance, operation of unregistered vehicle, use of license plate to conceal identity of motor vehicle and failure to obey traffic control ... (click for more)

Dennis Norwood: Through The Lens, My Early 4th Of July

Our wonderful nation’s birthday, the 4th of July, came early for me this year. Always one of my favorite holidays, perhaps it’s tied to that fact that my birthday is on Flag Day, this year’s early observance was extra special. The day was this past Sunday, June 25, and it came about as my wife and I attended a concert by our very favorite Christian artist, Sandi Patty, at Abba’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: California’s Foolishness

Over the weekend Hillary Clinton, the first runner-up in the latest presidential election, tweeted, “Forget death panels. If Republicans pass this (health) bill, they're the death party.” It was also being seriously debated if the psychotic action of the gunman who shot Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise was due to the repugnant rhetoric being increasingly spewed by other liberals. Great ... (click for more)

Former UTC Assistant Football Coach Suspended At ETSU After Threatening To Hang Residence Inn Clerk

A former UTC assistant football coach has been suspended at ETSU after police said he threatened to "hang with a noose" a clerk at the Residence Inn on Chestnut Street. Jeffrey Brumett, 35, was charged with assault, disorderly conduct and public intoxication. In the incident on Friday night, police were told by the clerk and by witnesses that Brumett was angry because his ... (click for more)

Cleveland High School Selects Joey Knox As Head Wrestling Coach

Cleveland High School has selected Joey Knox as the next head coach for the Blue Raider Wrestling program.  Coach Knox has been with the wrestling program as an assistant since 2013.  During his assistant coaching tenure, the team has secured six Team State Championships, including five individual State Champions and 20 State Medalists.    Cleveland High ... (click for more)