Firefighters Battle Early Morning Apartment Fire

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Chattanooga firefighters had a busy night, responding to numerous calls that ended with a two-alarm apartment fire in Hixson. A passing motorist was among several who called 911 Communications, saying flames were visible at North River Village apartments at 5407 Hixson Pike. The Chattanooga Fire Department was notified at 4:29 a.m. and responded with six fire companies.

Captain Rusty Rymer with Squad 19 said flames were shooting out the windows of one of the apartment units when the first firefighters arrived. This is a two-story building, with individual businesses on the first floor, and 11 apartment units on the second. Seeing the potential for a very large fire, Battalion Chief Jeff Eldridge called for a second alarm response to bring in additional equipment and personnel.

As other fire companies arrived, firefighters banged on apartment doors, alerting the residents to get out. In the meantime, the flames continued to spread and trapped two residents in their apartment. Tun Myint and Win Thein in Apartment 201 attempted to go out their front door, but were blocked by the fire on the outside of the building. They yelled for help and two firefighters who were nearby responded. Senior Firefighter Mark Brown and Firefighter Brad Ransom, both with Quint 19, took a hand-held hoseline and attacked the fire on the outside of Apartment 201. Once the fire was knocked down, the two men safely got out of their apartment. They were treated on the scene by Hamilton County EMS for what appeared to be minor smoke inhalation.

Chattanooga firefighters aggressively fought the fire -- saving a good portion of the building -- and eventually got the blaze under control around 6 a.m. No injuries were reported. Several businesses were damaged, and the fire displaced residents in the 11 apartment units. Volunteers with the American Red Cross with Southeast Tennessee were called in to provide assistance to the residents. Red Cross officials planned to set up a temporary shelter for the victims at the Hixson Recreation Center.

No injuries were reported in connection with this fire, but there were some close calls. Craig Cole in Apartment 205 told Lt. Waters that he woke up and found his apartment was full of smoke. Mr. Cole said he had to crawl to the front door to get out. He said his smoke alarm did not work.

The cause of the fire has been ruled accidental. Lt. Andrew Waters with the Fire Investigation Division believes the fire started accidentally, though what exactly sparked the blaze remains under investigation. An estimate on the dollar loss was not available. 

Lt. Waters said all 11 apartments had smoke and water damage, and some of the businesses below had water damage. The American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee has set up a “respite center” for the fire victims at the Hixson Recreation Center at 5401 School Drive in Hixson.


Chattanooga Police, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Rescue and EPB also provided valuable assistance.




Ramsey, Wamp, Floyd Back Joe Smith For County Commission

Three former elected leaders in Hamilton County on Thursday announced their support for independent candidate Joe Smith for the County Commission seat in District 3. Longtime County Mayor and Deputy Governor Claude Ramsey, former Congressman Zach Wamp and former state Rep. Richard Floyd all say they support Mr. Smith for the commission seat vacated by newly elected county assessor ... (click for more)

Corker Says White House Rejected Meeting Request Ahead Of JASTA Veto Override

In remarks on the Senate floor on Thursday, Senator Bob Corker criticized what he said was the Obama administration’s lack of engagement ahead of Congress’ vote on Wednesday to override the president’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) and expressed hope that all parties involved will be willing to engage in discussions in the weeks and months ahead. ... (click for more)

Jimmy Templeton Will Be Missed At The City Yards

If only we had known about the Chattanooga City Council's planned retirement send off for Jimmy Templeton of Public Works, the room would have been filled to overflowing with his friends and admirers - including me.   I have had the honor of knowing and working with Jimmy since the 1970's (and also knew his father "Big Jim").  Jimmy was a strong right hand for whoever ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vin Scully’s Last Time

It is said that the opening paragraph of my favorite ode to baseball should be the centerpiece for the canon of sports literature. It was written by former commissioner Bart Giamatti in "The Green Fields of the Mind,” a most marvelous essay to the last day of the regular season in the major leagues. “It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in ... (click for more)

Marion County Wins 25-6 Over Tyner

Marion County scored 19 points in the first quarter Thursday night in their match up with the Tyner Rams.  Marion led 25-0 at the half and went on to win 25-6. The game is being played at Finley Stadium.  Full story to follow... (click for more)

Hamilton Heights Announces 2016-17 Hoops Slate

Hamilton Heights Christian Academy released its 2016-17 varsity boys’ basketball schedule on Thursday. The Hawks will participate in 13 events around the country, including the prestigious Chick-Fil-A Classic in Columbus, S.C., the Marshall County Hoopfest in Ky., and the Flyin’ To The Hoops Classic in Dayton, Ohio.  Locally, the Hamilton Heights squad will host ... (click for more)