Woman Addicted To Sniffing Gas Arrested For Endangering Lives

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Victoria Daniels
Victoria Daniels

A Chattanooga woman was arrested on Wednesday in connection with a fire on March 29 at the Mountain Brook Apartments.

Captain Craig Haney with Quint 17 said he and other firefighters noticed the strong smell of gasoline in the apartment where the fire occurred. Captain Anthony Moore with the Fire Investigation Division was called in to investigate. Captain Moore said there was evidence that one of the two occupants had been sniffing, or “huffing” gasoline in the apartment’s bathroom.

Details are being obtained at this point, but the person sniffing the gas apparently used a cigarette lighter or lit a match in the bathroom. With the room full of gas fumes, a fire erupted. Miraculously, the two occupants in the apartment were not injured. Chattanooga firefighters responded quickly and were able to contain the blaze to just one apartment unit. The loss was estimated at $75,000.

The investigation led to today’s arrest of Victoria Daniels, 24. Captain Moore said that after the fire on March 29, Ms. Daniels and her husband were evicted from Mountain Brook Apartments and were staying at the HomeAway Extended Stay Studios on Northpoint Boulevard in Hixson.

As Captain Moore and fellow investigator Henry McElvain approached the room Wednesday morning, they could smell gas. Ms. Daniels refused to answer the door, so the investigators entered through a window and apprehended her. While inside, they found two one-gallon bleach containers full of gas inside the motel room.

With the assistance of Chattanooga police, the fire investigators transported Ms. Daniels to the Fire Administration Building for questioning. Not long after they left with the suspect, Extended Stay motel employees found a diaper bag that contained two one-gallon jugs of gas.

Captain Moore said Ms. Daniels never admitted to anything and refused to cooperate with the investigation. Around noon on Wednesday, Captain Moore charged Ms. Daniels with six counts of reckless endangerment. That charge stems from the danger the other residents were exposed to when Ms. Daniels’ gas sniffing led to the fire at Mountain Brooks Apartments.

Chattanooga police transported Ms. Daniels to the county jail for booking.

Officials said, "Apparently, sniffing gas is another way to get a cheap “high,” though the practice is fraught with danger. It’s not only extremely dangerous to the user’s health; the gas presents the very real danger of a fire or explosion."

The investigation related to this incident is ongoing.


Person Shot On Greenway View Drive Saturday Evening

Chattanooga Police responded at 7:17 p.m. on Saturday to the 400 block of Greenway View Drive on the report of a shooting. Police located one victim suffering from a gunshot wound. Witnesses told police the victim emerged from the woods at 400 block of Greenway View Drive claiming to have been shot.  The victim was transported to a local hospital by HCEMS ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BARBY, MATTHEW DEWAYNE  4030 DORRIS ST CHATTANOOGA, 37410  Age at Arrest: 47 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga CONTEMPT OF COURT(NON-SUPPORT) --- BARNEY, DARRYL BOJANGLES  2106 LAURA STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 48 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County ... (click for more)

Jill Levine Is An Educational Rock Star

No one has covered the Hamilton County Department of Education drama better than Roy Exum.  Thank you, Roy, but I take issue with your unnamed sources.  Professional jealousy and sour grape darts should not be anonymous.   HCDE is so dysfunctional, and there is good cause to place this public organization under a microscope, dissect it into pieces and discard all ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Settle It With A Vote

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, which I consider a pretty good authority on what words really mean, defines “freedom” in this way:  “The quality or state of being free: such as, (a) the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action; (b) liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another; (c) independence -- the quality or state of being exempt ... (click for more)

Shrum, Gautier Win Communities In Schools 5K

Ryan Shrum and Jan Gautier may still be recovering from the Boston Marathon 12 days ago, but that didn’t keep them from winning overall titles in the 18 th Annual Communities In Schools 5K in Ringgold Saturday morning. The race, a circular 3.1-mile route that was somewhat flat, but included a few challenging climbs, was sponsored by First Volunteer Bank with proceeds benefitting ... (click for more)

Baylor Baseball Complex Dedicated to the Etters and Wyatt McMahan

It was the summer of 1961 and a 10-year-old boy and a college grad were starting their baseball journey – a journey which would eventually connect them for decades to come. While Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris were chasing the ghost of Babe Ruth and the then home run record of 60 round trippers, Wyatt McMahan was in his first year in Joe Engel’s Knothole League in White Oak ... (click for more)