The Chattanooga Fire Department reported a fire on Sunday around 1:20 p.m., at the National Cemetery at 1200 Bailey Ave. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.
The Chattanooga Fire Department put the fire out and minimized the damage to the cemetery. This fire did not affect or spread to any of the buildings or permanent structures.
The fire did affect about five acres of Bermuda grass turf in and around five burial sections, which included about 1800 headstones. These headstones will be cleaned over the next few days.
About 10 headstones will be assessed for replacement due to extensive damage.
This incident will not interfere with burial operations and the cemetery is open to visitors. The cemetery staff will begin cleanup immediately.
Officials said, "We apologize for any inconvenience this incident may cause. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office at 423-855-6590, ext. 5801, during our normal business hours of Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m."