Chattanooga firefighters responded to a fire shortly before 11 a.m. on Thursday, at the Rustic Village North at 4616 Sunflower Lane.
The firefighters got the fire out quickly, containing the fire to the laundry room in Apartment 304. No one was injured. Battalion Chief Jeff Eldridge said the fire started in or near the dryer and would be ruled accidental.
Though the damage was limited to one apartment unit, there was a lingering problem. Chief Eldridge said the gas monitors used by firefighters showed dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide. Though high powered fans were used to ventilate the building, elevated levels of carbon monoxide remained. Chief Eldridge informed the residents and management personnel with the apartment complex that, for their own safety, they could not re-enter that building on Thursday.
By Friday, Chief Eldridge said the building should be safe to enter again.
John Hitchens with the American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee said nearly all of the 18 people temporarily displaced have other resources and could stay elsewhere for the night.
Mr. Hitchens said the Red Cross would be putting one family into a motel until they are able to return to their apartment. Several pets were also displaced and they are in the care of McKamey Animal Center.