Chattanooga fire investigators have determined that Friday night's fire at Whiteside's Faith Manor at 735 E. 10th St. was deliberately set.
Lt. Andrew Waters said a resident with apparent psychological issues started the fire in his own apartment. Fortunately, he was not injured and Chattanooga firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze quickly before it could spread to adjacent apartment units.
Lt. Waters said the resident was first transported to Erlanger Hospital for a medical assessment.
After that, the resident was transported to the Moccasin Bend Mental Health Facility for observation. At the present time, Lt. Waters said no charges will be filed against the resident.
Chattanooga firefighters rushed to Whiteside's Faith Manor after fire was discovered in an eighth-floor apartment unit. The initial notification of the fire at the 911 Communications Center was received at 9:56 p.m., and the Chattanooga Fire Department responded with six fire companies. Once fire was confirmed in the high-rise building, Battalion Chief Rodney Jones called for a second alarm response, bringing in additional six fire companies, just in case they might be needed. Fortunately, they were not.
Chief Jones said that while some firefighters worked to evacuate the 7th and 8th floors, other firefighters quickly located the fire in Apartment 8-G. Captain Rick Boatwright said the flames were visible right next to the door when they opened it. Using hand-held hoselines, they quickly extinguished the fire, containing it to the one apartment unit. The resident of the unit was not there when firefighters arrived to put the fire out.
Aside from the evacuation of the 7th and 8th floors, all of the other residents in the eight-story building were instructed to stay in place until the emergency was over. Security personnel said the building houses approximately 120 people. No fire-related injuries were reported, but one resident was treated and released on the scene by Hamilton County EMS for what was described as pre-existing health issues.