Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to a house fire at 3016 13th Ave. in East Lake at 1:31 a.m. on Thursday.
Firefighters with Engine 9 were the first on the scene and they reported that fire was showing throughout most of the structure. Captain Chris Cordes said a neighbor told them that everyone got out of the house, but some dogs were still inside.
As additional fire companies arrived on the scene, firefighters with Engine 9 attempted an interior attack.
Captain Cordes said they were initially successful in knocking the fire down, but he said the conditions worsened quickly and they had to pull out of the house.
Battalion Chief Ashley May ordered the firefighters to fight the fire defensively in effort to contain the fire and keep it from spreading to adjacent homes. Chief May said it took firefighters with five fire companies roughly 45 minutes to get the fire under control. The blaze also caused significant damage to the siding of one house next door.
Chief May said four children and their uncle were in the home at the time. The children got out of the house unharmed, but the uncle suffered burns to his face and hands. The victim was transported by Hamilton County EMS to Erlanger Medical Center, and shortly thereafter was transported to the burn unit at Vanderbilt Hospital. While some of their pets survived, two of the family's pet dogs are unaccounted for.
A fire investigator says the fire started in the laundry room and appears to be accidental. The exact cause is still under investigation. The dollar loss was estimated at $90,000 for the building and its contents.