Chattanooga firefighters responded to a variety of emergency calls on Sunday, including a commercial fire around 7:30 p.m. at Bentco Office Supplies at 1501 Stuart Street. Captain Ashley May with Quint 10 said light smoke was showing from the rear of the structure. The firefighters had to force their way into the building and once inside, they found heavy smoke toward the back of the building.
Captain May said the firefighters could not find any fire as they searched the building, but when they switched to thermal imaging cameras, they located fire on the roof, under the rubber pad and foam used to cover the building. Firefighters used chainsaws and other cutting tools to gain access to the fire on the roof. Once they saw where the fire was, they extinguished it quickly.
The business was closed for the day and appeared unoccupied. No injuries were reported. Lt. Andrew Waters with the Fire Investigation Division said the cause of the fire appears to be accidental, most likely from an electrical malfunction.
Chattanooga firefighters also responded to a house fire at 286 Bass Road around 9:30 p.m. on Sunday. Captain Benita Owens with Quint 13 said smoke and flames were visible as they responded from Station 13 on Brainerd Road. The house was divided into four apartment units. Only one was occupied and that resident got out safely.
Battalion Chief Charles Patton said the firefighters initially tried to fight the fire offensively from the inside, but when flames broke through the roof, he ordered the firefighters out of the building due to the increased threat of falling debris. A couple of extra fire companies were called to bring in extra firefighters and equipment. It took the firefighters more than an hour to get the blaze under control. No injuries were reported. An estimate on the dollar loss was not available, but the house was considered a loss.
Fire Investigator Waters said the fire may have been started by a lightning strike, but for now, the cause of the fire remains under investigation.