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.



Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ARMSTRONG, JAMES ANTHONY  2701 TYNER RD CHATTANOOGA, 37363  Age at Arrest: 43 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga VIOLATION OF PROBATION(DRIVING ON REVOKED) VIOLATION OF PROBATION(DUI) --- AUSTIN, ASHLEY MESHELLE  2301 EAST 18TH STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37404  Age at Arrest: 24 years ... (click for more)

Police Stop Vehicles On Ringgold Road At The State Line For Driver's License Check

Officers manning some 20 assorted Georgia police cars staged a 100 percent stop for driver's license checks on Monday night in East Ridge. The location was on Ringgold Road at the Georgia state line. (click for more)

Proud To Be A Conservative Conservationist

I was born and raised in Chattanooga and was brought up to be a Tennessee conservative. That means that my family conserved our spending, our resources, and yes, even our environment.  I think we were inspired to do so because Tennessee is one of the most beautiful places in the entire United States. We have stunning mountains, wild rivers and quiet backcountry. And many of ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why I Adore America

If Heather Cross weren’t married and didn’t have such a fine-looking family I’d swear I might propose. The dazzling lady just wrote a “By Gumbo! letter” to all the major news outlets in the world to inform them that half of the Pelican State is still submerged by “a 1,000-year flood” and where the heck are they with their cameras? She knows it is vital for the rest of America to ... (click for more)

Potent Baylor Continues Unbeaten Volleyball Onslaught

Another one bites the dust. Baylor’s Lady Red Raiders knocked off visiting East Hamilton, 3-0, on Monday and extended their season-opening winning streak to 15 consecutive matches. Coach Sarah Lail’s squad blistered the Lady Hurricanes by set scores of 25-10, 25-8, 25-14. “It’s definitely a great feeling,” Lail said of the impressive winning streak. “The girls have ... (click for more)

Vols' Jones: Good Game Habits Start In Practice

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. –  Ninth-ranked Tennessee's season opener against Appalachian State is just three days away. Coach and assistant coaches Mike DeBord, Bob Shoop, Larry Scott and Steve Stripling provided a Mon day   update. The coaches shared how the team has prepared this week for its first true game action since the Outback Bowl in January. Butch ... (click for more)