Minor Fire Causes Evacuation Of Barger Academy; Blaze Was Deliberately Set In Bathroom; Student, 11, Arrested

Friday, March 7, 2014

There were some tense moments at an elementary school in Brainerd shortly before noon on Friday  when a fire was discovered. Chattanooga fire investigators were able to quickly identify the person believed responsible for starting the fire at Barger Academy.

 Lt. Henry McElvain with the Fire Investigation Division took an 11-year-old boy into custody and charged him with aggravated arson. The boy is a student at Barger. Early this afternoon, Lt. McElvain transported the youth to the Juvenile Detention Center for processing.

The loss from the fire was estimated at $10,000. No injuries were reported. Captain Anthony Moore assisted with the investigation.

The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm at 11:46 a.m. and responded to Barger Academy of Fine Arts at 4808 Brainerd Road with six fire companies. Battalion Chief Fredrick Blake said that evacuation of the students and faculty was nearly complete when the first firefighters arrived on the scene. 

Chief Blake said the firefighters located the fire in a boy’s bathroom. The volume of smoke was significant enough that the firefighters pulled out a hand-held hose line in preparation for a significant fire. Fortunately, it wasn’t needed. The firefighters carried in a couple of portable fire extinguishers and finished putting out the smoldering fire. No injuries were reported. 

The fire damage was contained to the bathroom, but there was a lot of smoke and it spread throughout most of the school. Firefighters brought in high-powered fans to ventilate the building, but the cleanup was expected to take several hours, so the decision was made to cancel classes for the remainder of the day.

The fire appears to have been deliberately set. Lt. Henry McElvain with the Fire Investigation Division said it appears that someone started a fire in or near a paper towel dispenser in the bathroom. The investigation will continue. Chattanooga Police and Hamilton County EMS also provided assistance on the scene.



Travis Caslin, 42, Shot While Walking Along South Willow Street

Chattanooga Police said a man was shot on Friday night while walking along South Willow Street.   The victim was identified as Travis Caslin, 42.   At 7:37 p.m., Chattanooga Police officers were called to a local hospital after a person showed up with a gunshot wound.   Police were informed that the victim's condition was non-life threatening. ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: AILEY, SLATON R  1130 DARTMOUTH ST CHATTANOOGA, 37405  Age at Arrest: 27 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE --- ANDERSON, EDWARD ANTONIO  2507 CURTIS ST CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 25 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DOMESTIC ASSAULT ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Myth And Fact Check

My husband and I recently had the privilege of participating in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Chattanooga. I listened as my husband told the audience about how his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was nine and how she died from the disease when he was fourteen. As a child, my husband didn’t understand what breast cancer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

Bill Pennington, a sports writer for the New York Times, was lamenting the “huddle” is slowly disappearing in football due to the faster pace of the game and, during his search for more information, he called former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann. Bill wrote that Joe couldn’t stop laughing about the funny things that would happen between plays. Joe told this story: ... (click for more)

Cameron Runs Like The Wynn In Notre Dame Victory

The Notre Dame football team is on a roll right now. Maybe we should be a little bit more specific and say that Cameron Wynn is on a roll right now. After opening the season with a 42-21 loss to Baylor at Finley Stadium, the Fighting Irish have bounced right back to win eight games in a row, including Friday night’s 39-15 victory over Chattanooga Christian at Jim Eberle Field ... (click for more)

Bears Rout William Blount To Set Up Title Showdown With Maryville

Bradley Central didn’t succumb to a look-ahead scenario Friday night. The Bears exploded for 41 first-half points behind strong efforts by wide receiver Nick Howell and quarterback Dylan Standifer and routed visiting William Blount, 51-27, at Bear Stadium in a Region 2-6A football game. Howell scored five touchdowns, three on runs of 1, 31 and 13 yards and snagged two ... (click for more)