Chattanooga firefighters responded to a fire shortly before 6 p.m. on Thursday at Woodlawn Apartments at 2300 Wilson Street. Upon arrival, Captain David Brooks said they located the fire in the kitchen of Apartment 6-H.
Captain Brooks said a neighboring resident used three fire extinguishers to put the fire out. The man suffered from minor irritation from the smoke and the chemicals in the fire extinguisher, and was treated on the scene by firefighters and EMS personnel.
Captain Brooks said the fire originated on or around the kitchen stove, and the fire damage was contained to that room. Using their thermal imaging cameras, firefighters found several hot spots in the kitchen walls, so they had to remove doors from the cabinets, a portion of the countertop, and some drywall sections to ensure the fire was completely extinguished. An estimate on the dollar loss was not available.
The rest of the apartment was filled with smoke. When firefighters tried to open windows to ventilate the apartment, they discovered that all but one of the windows had been screwed shut. They opened that window for ventilation, and when apartment maintenance personnel arrived to begin their cleanup, Captain Brooks advised them to remove the screws from the windows, so that they can be opened in case of an emergency. Captain Brooks was reminding apartment complex personnel about a cardinal fire safety rule: have two ways out of every room in your home.
The resident of the apartment, Amanda Gilbert, was reportedly not home at the time of the fire. Volunteers with the American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee were called in to provide assistance to Ms. Gilbert.