Heater Linked To Morning Fire At Car Wash

Friday, January 31, 2014
This is the scene inside the car wash after the fire was extinguished.
This is the scene inside the car wash after the fire was extinguished.
- photo by Captain Teri Rose

Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to a fire shortly before 7 a.m. on Friday at the Swifty Express Car Wash at 4907 Highway 58. Captain Teri Rose with Quint 6 said the fire was located in the mechanical area where the vehicles are washed.

Captain Rose said the flames had extended up into the attic, but firefighters with four fire companies were able to get most of the fire out in less than 15 minutes. No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire appears to be accidental. Captain Anthony Moore with the Fire Investigation Division said a heater was placed too close to mechanical cloth wraps, which are the type that spin around to wash vehicles. The loss was estimated at around $20,000.

Click here for video by Steve Schenk, who works at the nearby Goodyear, not long after the firefighters arrived on the scene. Thick, black smoke is still visible coming from the car wash..

This heater, probably being used to keep the water pipes from freezing, was placed too close to combustibles.
This heater, probably being used to keep the water pipes from freezing, was placed too close to combustibles.
- Photo2 by Captain Teri Rose

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