Gas Leak Leads To Fire On Browns Ferry Road

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Shortly before 10 a.m. on Wednesday, a construction crew accidentally broke into a buried natural gas line at the corner of Browns Ferry Road and Patten Chapel Road. The gas that escaped from the line found an ignition source and burst into flames. Fortunately, the workers were not injured, and as they cleared the scene they called 911.

The Chattanooga Fire Department responded with several fire companies and the haz-mat team. With flames shooting up to 20 feet high, Tactical Services Chief Danny Hague said the decision was made to close Browns Ferry Road and evacuate a nearby motel, America’s Best Value Inn and Suites.

As they have done on similar incidents, the decision was made to allow the fire to continue to burn until technicians with the Chattanooga Gas Company could shut the gas off. Chief Hague said putting the fire out before the gas is shut off is even more dangerous, because the leaking gas can build up again and find another ignition source, resulting in another fire or even an explosion. Once on the scene, gas company technicians found a shut off valve and cut off the supply of gas. The fire quickly died out on its own at 10:47 a.m.

When the fire first erupted, the flames burned through the electric service line going to a nearby business, Hood Van Lines. Live power lines presented an extra hazard for the firefighters until technicians with EPB arrived to cut power to the line. That line served an area down along Browns Ferry Road, so when the power was cut, it affected a number of homes and Lookout Valley public schools. EPB restored power to the area within a couple of hours.

Chattanooga police and Hamilton County EMS also provided valuable assistance. As the firefighters walked back to their fire trucks to clear the scene, onlookers spontaneously offered a round of applause to thank them for their efforts.

Deffenbaugh Defeats GOP Challenger In Georgia House District 1

Incumbent John Deffenbaugh picked up 55 percent of the vote to defeat Robert Goff in the GOP primary for Georgia House District 1 on Tuesday. The tally was 1,351 to 1,103. Rep. Deffenbaugh will face Democrat Thomas McMahan in November. The district includes the western part of Walker County and all of Dade County. Rep. Deffenbaugh won over Mr. McMahan in 2012. (click for more)

Case Of Bathtub Strangling Goes To Grand Jury

The case against JaMichael Harris, charged with criminal homicide, was bound over to a grand jury after he waived his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday morning. Harris, 20, is charged with the death of Inez Burney. Police said Ms. Burney was strangled in her bathtub and had bruises on her neck. Harris also had scratches on his face, consistent with the woman defending herself ... (click for more)

I'm Number One In A Round About Way

Roundabouts have been popping up all over Chattanooga over the past few years and for the most part have been successful.  Unfortunately there are some who just don’t get it as I have found out the hard way.    My latest instance was last week when a young woman on her cell phone almost t-boned me as she flew into the roundabout without yielding.  A near miss ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Oscar Brock’s True Passion

I don’t pay much attention to the Hamilton County School Board. Once the moon and the stars aligned behind Superintendent Rick Smith, you hear very little, if anything, from the nine-member council that oversees an annual budget of almost $400 million and employs 4,480 people. So chew this for a minute: approximately 2,000 of those people are not teachers. Yes, there are 78 principals ... (click for more)

Vols Open 2018 Season Against West Virginia In Charlotte

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.   – The Charlotte Sports Foundation announced Tuesday that the Tennessee Volunteers will open the 2018 season on September 1 against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, home of the NFL's Carolina Panthers. All information related to kickoff date, time and tickets will be announced at ... (click for more)

Ooltewah's Williams Signs With Northwest Missouri

Ooltewah’s Mike Williams, one of District 5-AAA’s most respected wide receiver threats in 2013, has signed a football scholarship with Northwest Missouri State, the defending NCAA Division II national champion. Williams chose the Bearcats, members of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Conference, over Carson-Newman, in Jefferson City, Tenn., and Paine College, in Augusta ... (click for more)