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.

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BALDEN, MORE MOUSSA  2000 SUNSET RD CHATTANOOGA, 37404  Age at Arrest: 45 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga PUBLIC INTOXICATION --- BEENE, JASON  3660 CRESTWICK CIRCLE GULF SHORES, 37421  Age at Arrest: 38 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga AGGRAVATED ASSAULT --- ... (click for more)

Latest County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ASHFORD, LARRY  3718 JUANDALE TRAIL CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 64 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga GAMBLING PROMOTION GAMBLING DEVICES --- BATTLE, FREDRICK LAMAR  HOMELESS CHATTANOOGA, 37407  Age at Arrest: 52 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DOMESTIC CRIMINAL ... (click for more)

We Can Do Something About Mass Shootings - And Response (2)

A friend posted his observation this morning that there was paranoia about reasonable gun laws. I know his heart is saying we have to do something about these mass shootings. Then while scanning the morning news shows I watched a pile o’ pundits from Al Sharpton to Donald Trump pontificate on doing “something” about the problem. Personally, I think there are plenty of gun control ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: How We Learned To Play

A couple of years ago I was reading a fascinating story that asserted the “Little Rascals” taught generations of children how to play with each other. When the comedy show about children in a poor neighborhood originated in 1922, there were just silent movies but in 1929, when the “talkies” were introduced, children and adults alike were mesmerized by the wonderful humor that producer ... (click for more)

Arkansas Ground Game Pounds Tennessee, 24-20

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – At least Tennessee didn’t blow a double-digit lead late. Arkansas wiped out the Vols’ 14-0 lead in the first half in front of 101,265 fans at Neyland Stadium and went on to dump Tennessee, 24-20, Saturday night in Southeastern Conference football action. It was Tennessee’s second straight loss and the win snapped the Razorbacks’ three-game skid. ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Tennessee Falls To Arkansas, 24-20