Fire Damages Ooltewah Service Station

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Firefighters with two fire departments responded to a fire at Steve Ray's Midnight Oil service station on Lee Highway around 10:30 a.m. on Thursday.
 
Firefighters with the Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department arrived on the scene first.
Battalion Chief Charlie Thomason reported heavy fire and smoke coming from the rear of the structure. As the firefighters began pulling off handlines to fight the fire, Chief Thomason called for a full response from the Chattanooga Fire Department to make sure enough resources were on hand to stop the fire. 

The Tri-Community firefighters attacked the fire aggressively, initially from the outside, but later, they made an interior attack and got the fire out. No injuries were reported. Chattanooga firefighters with several fire companies arrived to help finish extinguishing the fire, and assisted later with putting out hot spots in the walls and roof. Elements of the haz-mat team were also called in to help clean up petroleum products that had leaked out during the fire. 

Chief Thomason said the fire damage was contained to the shop area, but there was some smoke and water damage to the office. The rest of the building and gas pumps were all spared from the fire. The loss was estimated at $300,000, but the quick work by the firefighters saved a business worth $1.5 million.

Owner Steve Ray told firefighters that he and some employees were draining a gas tank and he thought he had plenty of ventilation to keep the fumes from building up. However, he said the fumes apparently found an ignition source and a fire broke out. Mr. Ray said he tried to use portable fire extinguishers to put the fire out, but they were ineffective and they had to get out and call 911. Mr. Ray took the damage from the fire in stride. "I'm just glad no one got hurt," said Mr. Ray. "I have insurance and things can be replaced." A fire investigator confirms that the cause of the fire appears accidental, but what exactly sparked the blaze remains under investigation.

Chattanooga Police, Hamilton County EMS and the Hamilton County 911 Incident Management Team also provided assistance on the scene. Steve Ray's Midnight Oil has been in business for 35 years in Ooltewah. 

Roadside Motels Had Their Heyday Until The Freeway Ruined Things; They Are Featured In Chattanooga In Old Photos

City Council Approves $750,000 For Baby University

City Council Asks Scope Be Narrowed On Study Of Fairness Of Stormwater Fee Formula; Ball Fields Being Approved; Grinding Contracting Saving Money


Roadside motels run by Mom and Pop had their heyday in the early days of motor travel up until the 1950s and 1960s. Then the freeways came along and suddenly their traffic was virtually gone. ... (click for more)

The City Council voted Tuesday to approve $750,000 for the expanded Baby University for a year of operations. The program, started by the Berke administration, provides intensive case management, ... (click for more)

City Council members have asked that the scope be narrowed on a study of the fairness of the current procedure for charging the stormwater fee. Justin Holland, public works administrator, ... (click for more)


Breaking News

Roadside Motels Had Their Heyday Until The Freeway Ruined Things; They Are Featured In Chattanooga In Old Photos

Roadside motels run by Mom and Pop had their heyday in the early days of motor travel up until the 1950s and 1960s. Then the freeways came along and suddenly their traffic was virtually gone. A long list of the roadside motels that once thrived in and around Chattanooga are featured in the new book Chattanooga in Old Photos, sponsored by Chattanoogan.com. Some of those pictured ... (click for more)

City Council Approves $750,000 For Baby University

The City Council voted Tuesday to approve $750,000 for the expanded Baby University for a year of operations. The program, started by the Berke administration, provides intensive case management, mentoring, and support to expectant mothers and families. Services are free and voluntary. Officials of Signal Center, who operate the program, said those who have benefited from ... (click for more)

Opinion

Thanks To First Volunteer Bank

Thank you to the Highway 58 branch of First Volunteer Bank. On behalf of the Ernie Pyle Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, I would like to express our appreciation to the manager and staff of the HIghway 58 Branch of First Volunteer Bank for putting on a Veterans Day lunch in the lobby of your bank on Friday, Nov. 9. It was a cold and rainy day and Army, Marines ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It’s A Racist Thing

Being a child of the South, I’ve marveled at our funny sayings for all of my life. I’ve been at a football game and heard a disgruntled fan in the stands say of his team’s quarterback, “That boy couldn’t play dead in a cowboy movie.” I’ve been at the Sunday supper table and heard, “I’m of a mind each one of his sermons is better than the next.” And I’ve sat in a Saturday morning ... (click for more)

Sports

McCallie Beats Ooltewah For Conrady's First Win

McCallie graduated a bunch of outstanding players from last year’s basketball team and coach John Shulman resigned shortly after the season ended. So first-year Blue Tornado coach David Conrady was curious to see just how far his team had come thus far and he got his answer Tuesday night in a Hall of Fame game with the Ooltewah Owls at the McCallie Sports & Activities Center. ... (click for more)

Hurricanes Thrash Hardin Valley, 86-75, In Jones' Coaching Debut

Frank Jones was back where he belongs on Tuesday night: coaching basketball. Jones, the former Riverside High School standout, hadn’t coached a game since the 1999-2000 season when he was at Howard. “It felt good,” said Jones, minutes after leading the Hurricanes to an impressive 86-75 season-opening victory over visiting Hardin Valley. “It’s something I enjoy doing and the ... (click for more)