The cause of Tuesday’s apartment fire at The Courts at Waterford on Shallowford Road has been ruled accidental. Lt. Andrew Waters with the Fire Investigation Division said Wednesday morning that all the evidence points to a lightning strike as the cause of the fire.
As a severe thunderstorm moved across Chattanooga Tuesday afternoon, a fire was reported around 3 p.m. at The Courts at Waterford at 6220 Shallowford Road.
The Chattanooga Fire Department responded with six fire companies. Battalion Chief Fredrick Blake said all of the residents had safely evacuated the two-story apartment building when the first firefighters arrived on the scene. The firefighters located the fire on the second floor, in the attic and in some of the walls. After cutting into the walls and ceiling, the firefighters were able to get the fire out.
An estimate on the dollar loss was not available. No injuries were reported.
Some of the residents told firefighters that they heard lightning strike the building moments before the fire was discovered.
The property manager said seven of the eight apartment units were occupied. Since the power had to be disconnected from all of the units as a precaution, all of the residents will have to spend the night elsewhere.
Volunteers with the American Red Cross were called in to assist the displaced families.