A vacant commercial building on Dodds Avenue was heavily damaged by fire early Sunday morning.
Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to 4201 Dodds Ave. at 3:30 a.m. Firefighters from Station 9 in East Lake were the first to arrive on the scene. Captain Michael Schroyer said the building was fully engulfed in flames when they arrived.
With flames shooting through the roof, one side of the building completely collapsed. Since there was no safe way to enter the building, Captain Schroyer said the firefighters fought the fire defensively to keep the flames from spreading to nearby structures. Using hand-held hoselines and master streams from aerials, they got the fire under control in roughly 30 minutes. No injuries were reported.
Captain Schroyer said firefighters used handlines to enter the part of the structure still standing to conduct a primary search because they received reports that people had been staying in the vacant structure. No one was found inside.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Captain Schroyer said the property had just been purchased last week for $25,000.