Man Arrested For Setting Sweatshirt On Fire At Erlanger

Friday, February 21, 2014

Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to Erlanger Medical Center shortly after midnight this morning, on a reported fire in the emergency room. Battalion Chief Lesley Morgan said the small fire occurred in Room 28 in the ER section. 

A staff nurse was walking by the room when he smelled smoke. When he walked in the room to investigate, he saw the ceiling tiles above the patient’s bed were turning black. The nurse grabbed a portable fire extinguisher, reached up above the ceiling tiles and found a smoldering sweatshirt that was partially on fire. 

Chief Morgan said the nurse pulled the sweatshirt down and finished extinguishing the flames with the fire extinguisher. While that was happening, other nurses quickly moved the patients in the immediate area away from the fire. No injuries were reported, thanks to the quick actions of Erlanger personnel, and the loss was minimal, estimated at $500.

Lt. Henry McElvain with the Fire Investigation Division said it appeared the fire was deliberately set. Earlier, a hospital employee reportedly saw the patient, identified as Jimmy Maxwell, 33, smoking a cigarette in his room. When she told him that he couldn’t smoke, he apparently became angry. While no one was watching, he allegedly took off his sweatshirt, placed it above the ceiling tiles over his bed, and set the shirt on fire. 

After the fire was extinguished, two deputies with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department questioned Maxwell about the fire. The shirtless Maxwell denied setting the fire, but officers found a cigarette lighter in the man’s boxer shorts.

Sheriff’s deputies will be transporting Maxwell to the county jail this morning for booking, where he will be charged with aggravated arson and reckless endangerment. Lt. McElvain said the charge was upgraded to aggravated arson because Maxwell endangered the lives of 32 patients and 28 staff members who were in the ER at the time. 

After being processed at the county jail, Maxwell was expected to be transported to the Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute for observation.


City Council Incumbents Anderson, Gilbert, Freeman, Hakeem Pick Up Papers Seeking Re-Election

Four City Council incumbents have picked up papers for the March 7 city election. The latest getting qualifying petitions are Russell Gilbert in District 5, Chris Anderson in District 7 and Yusuf Hakeem in District 9. Moses Freeman in District 8 picked up earlier. Anthony Byrd is a possible challenger. Former District 7 Councilman Manny Rico has already qualified. Others ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALLEN, TREY MICHAEL  5824 BROWNTOWN ROAD CHATTANOOGA, 37415  Age at Arrest: 23 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County VANDALISM/MALICIOUS MISCHIEF --- ANDERSON, BRANDON MONTEZ  2323 PEIDMONT RD ATLANTA, 30324  Age at Arrest: 21 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County ... (click for more)

Outrageous To Give Vehicles To Nation Of Islam Neighborhood Patrol - And Response

Chief of Police Fred Fletcher of the Chattanooga Police Department has recently decided to give two surplus patrol vehicles to the Nation of Islam Neighborhood Patrol. This is an insult to the life and memory of PO Philip Cardillo who lost his life in April 1972 at the hand of the members of the Nation of Islam Mosque No.7 in Harlem and his fellow officers who were savagely beaten ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Knobfather & Me

I’ve seen some beautiful things in my life. I’ve eaten dinner inside the Eiffel Tower with the city of Paris all aglitter below. I’ve been sprayed by champagne in the Dallas Cowboys’ dressing room after they won the Super Bowl. I’ve stood both at the top and at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I’ve snorkeled in the Great Exuma islands, learned to snow ski in the Austrian Alps, and ... (click for more)

Quick-Strike Marion County Too Much For Tyner

The Marion County Warriors didn’t do a whole lot offensively in the second half, but they more than made up for it in the first half as they defeated the Tyner Rams by a 25-6 final at Finley Stadium Thursday night. The Warriors were forced to punt on their first possession, but they scored touchdowns on their next four possessions and that was more than enough to secure a big ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Volleyballers Power Past Ooltewah

Signal Mountain unleashed a potent front-line attack on Ooltewah on Thursday and the Lady Eagles blew past the Lady Owls 3-0 in  non-district volleyball action at Edward M. Foster Gymnasium. The set scores were 25-19, 25-22 and 25-15. Signal Mountain’s Aubrie Johnson, Maia Rackel and Olivia Powers combined for 30 kills and that proved to be a deciding factor in the ... (click for more)