Man Charged With Starting Fire At Red Bank Quadraplex That Claimed Woman's Life

Thursday, November 28, 2013
Christopher Richard Wehunt
Christopher Richard Wehunt

A man has been charged with criminal homicide for allegedly starting a fire that destroyed a Red Bank quadraplex early Thanksgiving morning and claimed the life of a 51-year-old woman.

As a result of the investigation, Christopher Wehunt, 33, of 133 Goodson Avenue, Red Bank, was also charged with aggravated arson, felony reckless endangerment, felony vandalism, and two counts of reckless aggravated assault. 

Wehunt was booked into the Hamilton County Jail under a total bond of $750,000.

He was charged in June with public intoxication and disorderly conduct.

The victim was identified as Dewey Lee Rose, 51, a resident of the apartment building. 

Another person was injured after jumping from a bathroom window after the fire at the four-unit building.  

Firefighters in Red Bank responded to the blaze at 137 Hedgewood Dr. 20 minutes after dealing with a fire at 109 Miller Ave.

While Red Bank firefighters were still at the fire at Miller Avenue, there was a call to Hedgewood Drive. Red Bank firefighters responded to the scene and reported fire showing at the front door, window and at the back side of the building. 

Red Bank immediately requested a Mutual Aid response for additional units and manpower. The Signal Mountain Fire Department, Walden's Ridge Emergency Services, Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Department, East Ridge Fire Department and Chattanooga-Hamilton County Rescue responded to assist Red Bank firefighters. 

Once on the scene, firefighters were told by other residents who lived at the Hedgewood quadraplex that someone was trapped in their apartment. Firefighters quickly conducted an interior attack to make entryway to the trapped victim. Once they found the victim, it was too late. Firefighters confirmed one fire fatality located upstairs of the 4 unit building.  

Hamilton County EMS transported the woman who jumped out of the window to Erlanger Hospital.

Another resident escaped out of a window and climbed down a tree. No other injuries were reported. 

The building is a total loss and damages are unknown at this time. 

The American Red Cross responded to the scene to help the four families that were displaced from their apartments. 

Red Bank Deputy Chief Brent Sylar reported that the two house fires are not related to each other.

It was 5 a.m. when Red Bank firefighters respond to the Miller Avenue fire. When firefighters arrived on the scene, they reported fire showing in the attic area. Firefighters conducted an interior attack and contained the fire within 20 minutes. 

The cause of the fire is undetermined and will be under investigation by the Red Bank Fire Department. The house is a total loss. 

The American Red Cross responded to the scene to assist the family with their immediate needs.

Avery Charged In Attack With Chair Leg At Moccasin Bend That Left Man In Critical Condition

An arrest has been made in the aggravated assault Thursday at the Moccasin Bend Mental Health facility that left 38-year-old Kevin Green in critical condition. He was struck in the head with a chair leg, police said. Leviticus Avery, 37, has been charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault. He is an inmate at the Hamilton County Jail. ... (click for more)

Police Say Mullis Was Involved In Incident In Which Woman Was Shot Outside Hixson Walmart

Anthony Lee Mullis, 21, is facing several charges including attempted aggravated robbery on Sept. 28.       In that incident, the victim was found at the Hixson Walmart with a gunshot wound to her hip.   She stated that she had agreed to meet with the defendant in the parking lot to buy some “Roxys” or Oxycodone, but that when she ... (click for more)

The Facts About Jail

Since Roy had such a positive reaction to Jeffrey Cross's wonderful (and wonderfully civil--how refreshing) email response to his column on the bike lanes, allow me to speak on the subject of the jail.  First off, Roy's right about some things:  It is overcrowded, underfunded, and understaffed.  This is no secret, it's in the Grand Jury report every term.  Here's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Must Learn To Tell

On July 4th of this year, FBI agents – acting on a tip -- arrested Alexander Ciccolo, a 23-year-old with known mental problems, as he carried a duffle bag full of automatic attack weapons. Moments before, he had bought the illegal firearms from an undercover informant outside of Boston. As agents later scoured his apartment, they found bomb-making equipment including a pressure ... (click for more)

Boyd-Buchanan Sloshes Past Meigs, 28-7, For 7th Win

Boyd-Buchanan’s Cooper Hodge ran for two touchdowns and threw for another on Friday, leading the top-ranked and undefeated Boyd-Buchanan Buccaneers to a 28-7 Region 3-2A football victory over visiting Meigs County at a rain-soaked David L. Boyd Field. The game was delayed in the second quarter by lightning and heavy rain at 8:18 p.m. and resumed more than an hour later. The ... (click for more)

Turner Rambles For 194 Yards, 3 TDS In Owls 48-7 Victory

Ooltewah’s Cameron Turner rushed for 194 yards and three touchdowns, a tenacious defense held White County to minus-8 yards of total offense and the Owls stormed to a 48-7 Region 4-5A football blowout win Friday night at James N. Monroe Stadium. Turner scored on runs of 16 and 6 yards in the second quarter and added a 3-yard touchdown burst in the third quarter as the Owls improved ... (click for more)