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.

South Pittsburg Man Whose Body Was Found At Cascades Motel In East Ridge Was Homicide Victim

East Ridge Police said it has been ruled that the man whose body was found at the Cascades Motel was a homicide victim. The Hamilton County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled in the death of Gino L. Pickett, 51, of South Pittsburg. During the initial investigation on Oct. 16 at the motel at 3657 Ringgold Road, the victim was found with several injuries that were suspicious in ... (click for more)

Man Whose Body Was Found In Cleveland Creek Was Transient Who Died Of Natural Causes

The body found in a creek in Cleveland on Monday has been identified as that of Henry Franklin Goodner, 73. The cause of death, as ruled by the Medical Examiner’s office, was as natural. There were no signs of trauma. Mr. Goodner was a transient who frequented the area. (click for more)

Accountability Doesn't Have To Be A Bad Word

Am I making a difference? Isn’t that the basic question we all ask ourselves, and seek to demonstrate to others?  Ronald Reagan said:  “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.”   We would argue teachers do not have that problem either.    Educators make a huge difference ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘The Right To Bear Arms’

As the worldwide debut of the much-anticipated “Hacksaw Ridge” is set for next weekend, it didn’t take long for the anti-gun fanatics to decry “a war movie.” Mel Gibson, the director of the film that focuses on a conscientious objector Desmond Doss who refused to bear a weapon but saved an estimated 75 lives, was asked about America’s gun problem as he toured to promote the film. ... (click for more)

CCS Wins, Notre Dame Falls in A-AA State Soccer Tourney

MURFREESBORO -- Chattanooga Christian sophomore Addie Henry celebrated her 16th birthday in style here Wednesday night with a goal and an assist to help CCS defeat Madison Academic Magnet (Jackson, Tenn. – 16-5-3), 3-0, in a A-AA state quarterfinal match played at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex. Teammates Kyra Duble and Olivia Hoffman also scored goals, while Taylor Price ... (click for more)

DeBord Happy To Have Kelly, Hurd In Vols' Backfield

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. --  Tennessee offensive coordinator Mike DeBord, defensive coordinator Bob Shoop and tight ends coach/special teams coordinator Larry Scott spoke reporters at Wednesday's press conference in the Ray and Lucy Hand Digital Studio. No. 18 Tennessee (5-2, 2-2 SEC) takes on South Carolina (3-4, 1-4 SEC) on Saturday at Williams-Brice ... (click for more)