Fire Guts Business On Dodson Avenue; Cause Is Suspicious

Thursday, April 03, 2014

One of two businesses located in the same building was gutted by fire Thursday morning. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the initial alarm around 10:30 a.m. and responded to 901 Dodson Ave. with six fire companies. The building was shared by the Blue Spot lounge and Mercury Cab. Captain David Brooks with Engine 4 said the fire was toward the rear of the lounge and was spreading rapidly into the attic.

Chattanooga fire investigators are trying to figure out how the fire started, when there was no power to the building and no one was supposedly there.

Lt. Henry McElvain with the Fire Investigation Division said the cause of the fire is suspicious in nature and the investigation will be ongoing. The loss was estimated at $50,000. 

Captain Brooks said their initial efforts to put the fire out were hampered by fortified locked doors. They simply could not get into the lounge. The firefighters used power saws and other tools to get through the locks, but were unsuccessful. So, Captain Brooks said the firefighters went in the Mercury Cab side of the building and cut through an interior wall to try to get into the lounge. By then, the flames had spread well into the attic, so the firefighters had to cut their way into the attic to get water on the fire. It took roughly 30 minutes to get the blaze under control. No injuries were reported.

While fire caused extensive damage to the Blue Spot, the Mercury Cab business next door was spared any fire damage. An interior wall was damaged when the firefighters had to cut through it, but the firefighters prevented a lot of water damage by placing tarps over the furniture and office equipment. 

Chattanooga police, Hamilton County EMS and EPB provided assistance.

To see video by Bruce Garner, click here and here.


NAACP's Mapp Says IDB Should Not Be "Rubber Stamp"; Questions Deals For Black Creek, VW

Longtime Chattanooga NAACP leader James Mapp said Thursday that industrial development boards "should not be rubber stamps." He questioned deals through the City IDB for the Black Creek group and Volkswagen. Mr. Mapp said, "Throughout our nation's history, the lack of representative government has always been a point of contention for Americans, and a chief cornerstone of ... (click for more)

Man, 34, Dies Shortly After Being Arrested In Crossville

A 34-year-old arrestee died at Crossville on Sunday. Sheriff Butch Burgess said Rustin Grayson was brought to the Cumberland County Justice Center intake for processing after being arrested by the Crossville Police Department. Jail staff advised that when Crossville Police arrived at intake Grayson was unable to get out of the patrol vehicle without assistance. The Crossville ... (click for more)

Curtis Adams: Beck, Mackey Should Be Considered For County Commission Leadership

Just think about this;  a person highly qualified applying for a job.  As he is just about finished filling out his papers for his interview, he sees at the bottom there is a place for him to check Democrat or Republican.  He would think, “if I mark the wrong one I may not get the job.” Being a real leader requires honesty, integrity, and, most importantly, fairness. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Mark’s 50th Anniversary Toast

In the new book that celebrates the first 50 years of baseball’s Southern League, its splendid author Mark McCarter recalls that very early in his career as a sports writer, he was riding with his boss somewhere and mentioned that if the legendary Allan Morris ever needed help covering the Chattanooga Lookouts that he’d love to help. Today, as he looks back, he ruefully adds, “I ... (click for more)

Jones, Vols Meet The Press A Day Before Fall Football Begins

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- What did  Butch Jones  have to say about Tennessee’s 2014 football team on the eve of the Vols' first practice? Find out in this transcript of Thursday’s press conference:  HEAD COACH BUTCH JONES (Opening Statement) "It's great to see everyone, and I hope everyone had a great summer. We will hold an open practice on Saturday ... (click for more)

Jane Webb Is A Fun-Loving Runner At Heart

Jane Webb isn’t one of those people who started running when she was a kid, but she loves the benefits since she restarted her running career about four years ago. She’s all about being active and doing things that are good for you,   but long-distance running never really captured her attention and she’s found that she can receive the same payoff by covering ... (click for more)