Police Officer Helps Man Escape House Fire Friday Morning

Friday, February 7, 2014
Engine 4 sits in front of the house where the fire occurred. The fire damage was limited to the kitchen area.
Engine 4 sits in front of the house where the fire occurred. The fire damage was limited to the kitchen area.
- photo by Bruce Garner

No injuries were reported in connection with a house fire Friday morning, thanks in part to the quick actions of a Chattanooga police officer and a good Samaritan. 

When someone called 911 Communications at 9:06 a.m. to report a house fire at 2902 North Chamberlain Ave., Chattanooga firefighters and police officers responded. CPD Patrol Officer Tyrone Williams was the first on the scene. Officer Williams said an unidentified woman was on the front porch when he arrived and she informed him that a man was still inside the house.

Officer Williams said he went inside and saw a man in a wheelchair in the front living room. He could also see flames in the kitchen and thick, black smoke was quickly filling the house. Officer Williams said the man in the wheelchair, Denver Joe McMath, did not want to leave the house without his crutches, but the officer insisted. As he pushed the wheelchair to the front door, the unidentified woman was still there and she helped the officer get the wheelchair out onto the porch.

By then, Chattanooga firefighters arrived on the scene and made sure everyone else was out of the structure. Two people were also in part of the house that had been converted into an apartment. Both got out safely.

Lt. Wadie Suttles with Engine 4 said the firefighters took in handheld hoselines and quickly extinguished the flames, containing the fire damage to the kitchen area. The rest of the house had some smoke damage.

The cause of the fire appears to be accidental. Lt. Suttles said Mr. McMath was cooking something on the stove and evidently left it unattended for a period of time. By the time he returned, a fire had broken out on the stove and spread to the cabinets above.

Volunteers with the American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee were called in to provide assistance to the fire victims. Hamilton County EMS and EPB also provided valuable assistance on the scene. The identity of the good Samaritan was not determined.

Lt. Wadie Suttles talks with Mr. McMath to get information and check on his condition.
Lt. Wadie Suttles talks with Mr. McMath to get information and check on his condition.
- Photo2 by Bruce Garner

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ABERCROMBIE, KIMBERLY M  4114 10TH AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37407  Age at Arrest: 41 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County FUGITIVE (CATOOSA COUNTY GA) --- ANDERSON, BRIAN CHRISTOPHER  299 BRELAND STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37415  Age at Arrest: 26 years old Arresting Agency: East Ridge ... (click for more)

City Council To Consider Policy That Job Applicants Would Not Have To Reveal Criminal Records

The City Council on Tuesday night will consider a policy that city job applicants would not have to reveal their criminal past. Councilman Yusuf Hakeem cited problems those with felony records have in securing employment. The policy would go into effect by the first of the year. The resolution says: WHEREAS, the City of Chattanooga (the "City") is committed ... (click for more)

An Extra Helping Of Gratitude

After being thankful for the grace of God, my family and good health, this year I have an extra helping of gratitude to live in a special place called Chattanooga.   We endured the trauma of terrorism on July 16 and emerged more united and stronger than ever before.  We claim our heritage and celebrate our diversity like no other city in America.  We honor our ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Can’t ‘Ban The Box’

I know a man who has over 20 former convicts from federal prisons who either work for him or who have retired with their dignity, pride, and self-worth restored. Better yet, I know some of them, men who have done “hard time” in prisons so wretched none of us would dare to go. So on the surface I applaud City Councilman Yusef Hakeem for seeing ways to get formerly incarcerated men ... (click for more)

Alcoa Ends Notre Dame's Season With 42-2 Setback

ALCOA -- It's hard to get past the cold hard facts. Notre Dame's Fighting Irish football team had another outstanding season, but it ended the same way as last year with a semifinal loss to the Alcoa Tornadoes. It wasn't as close as last year's 28-19 defeat as Alcoa gave up a safety in its first possession before scoring 42 straight points, winning for the 10th straight week ... (click for more)

UTC vs Fordham: Battle of Running Backs and QBs

"Fordham's Chase Edmonds is the best running back in the country at the FCS level. We have to contain him and get him on the ground."  -- UTC head coach Russ Huesman     Fordham has the best running back in the FCS nation, a talented quarterback (29 TD passes) and an outstanding linebacker who leads a ball-hawking defense. UTC has an impressive ... (click for more)