Man Escapes Early Morning Fire On Hands And Knees

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Senior Firefighter Eric Roddy’s turnout gear and SCBA are covered in a layer of ice. The temperature was in the single digits when the firefighters responded to this fire.
Senior Firefighter Eric Roddy’s turnout gear and SCBA are covered in a layer of ice. The temperature was in the single digits when the firefighters responded to this fire.
- photo by Battalion Chief Lesley Morgan

Trois Johnson was asleep in his home at 2908 5th Ave., when he woke to the sound of “popping” around 2 a.m. on Tuesday. When he opened his bedroom door, he was pushed back by black smoke and heat. Mr. Johnson said he crawled on his hands and knees and managed to escape through a side door. In the bitter cold, he ran to a neighbor’s house to call 911.

The Chattanooga Fire Department responded with five fire companies. Braving frigid temperatures, Chattanooga firefighters managed to contain the blaze to roughly two rooms, though the rest of the house sustained smoke and water damage. The loss was estimated at $50,000.

Battalion Chief Lesley Morgan said Mr. Johnson, 67, was transported by Hamilton County EMS to Parkridge Medical Center for treatment of smoke inhalation. An update on his condition was not available.

Captain Anthony Moore with the Fire Investigation Division said the cause of the fire is under investigation. Mr. Johnson told Captain Moore that he had a smoke alarm in his home, but it did not have a battery.

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