Early Morning Fire Destroys St. Elmo Home

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
This is what the firefighters saw when they arrived on the scene at 1713 W. 56th St. early this morning.
This is what the firefighters saw when they arrived on the scene at 1713 W. 56th St. early this morning.
- photo by Captain John Long

Flames lit up the sky early Tuesday morning when fire raced through at 1713 W. 56th Street in St. Elmo. Neighbors told firefighters that just before 2 a.m., they woke to the sound of popping and glass breaking. When they looked outside, they saw a neighboring house engulfed in flames. They called 911 and told the dispatchers that the resident might still be inside the building.

Captain David Thompson, Jr., the incident commander, said the flames could be seen for miles as firefighters rushed to the scene from Station 14 and other nearby stations. Captain Thompson said the entire house was involved in flames and could not be saved, so the firefighters fought the fire defensively, working to get the blaze under control as soon as possible. Once the fire was knocked down, the firefighters searched through the burned remains of the house for any victims. Fortunately, no one was found. The firefighters found out later that the owner was out of town.

Lt. Andrew Waters with the Fire Investigation Division said the house was considered a loss. A Hyundai Elantra parked close to the house was also destroyed. An estimate on the dollar loss was not available. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Chattanooga police, Hamilton County EMS and EPB also provided assistance.

After extinguishing most of the fire, the firefighters searched for the homeowner. Fortunately, he was out of town.
After extinguishing most of the fire, the firefighters searched for the homeowner. Fortunately, he was out of town.
- Photo2 by Captain David Thompson, Jr.

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