The man who was killed in Tuesday's
early morning fire at 8604 Igou Gap Road
has been identified as Michael David "Mike" Pearson. He was 54.
The Hamilton County Medical Examiner's Office said Wednesday morning that smoke inhalation was the primary cause of Mr. Pearson's death.
A native of Nashville, Mr.
Pearson was a 1981 graduate of Hickman County High School in Centerville, Tn. He received a computer science degree from McKenzie College in 1984.
Survivors include his wife of 25 years, Karen Pearson; children, Heath Pearson, of Chattanooga and Haley Pearson (Devin) McCurry of Cleveland; parents, Gene and Reba Pearson of Chattanooga; sisters, Angela (Andy) Carson of Chattanooga and Deanna (Roger) Simcox of Ooltewah; niece, Lindi (Joe) Porter of Chattanooga; nephews, Drew Carson of Chattanooga; and Nicholas Lindsey of Ooltewah.
Funeral services will be Friday at 1 p.m. in the East Brainerd Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home with Drew Carson officiating.
The fire caused extensive damage to the house, with the loss estimated at $234,000. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
This is Chattanooga's first fire-related fatality of the year.
The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm at 2:21 a.m. and responded with five fire companies.
Lt. Justin McCommon with Quint 21 said they could see the flames from several miles away as they raced to the scene. He said that three of the four occupants had made it safely out of the house, but a fourth person was still inside. Lt. McCommon said they went into rescue mode, with two firefighters entering through the front door and another two entering through the garage. As the fire grew more intense and broke through the roof, the firefighters had to discontinue their search and pull out of the house.
Battalion Chief Brandon Schroyer, the incident commander, called for a second alarm response to bring in more personnel and equipment. As additional fire companies arrived on the scene, the firefighters used hand-held hoselines and a master stream from an aerial above to eventually bring the fire under control. The house was considered a total loss.
Once most of the fire had been extinguished, firefighters located the body of Mr. Pearson at the doorway between the kitchen and garage. Family members told firefighters that he stayed behind to get their pet dogs out. Two of those dogs perished in the blaze. A third dog firefighters found on the scene was showing signs of smoke inhalation. They administered oxygen to the dog and it appeared to recover quickly.