Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched at 6:03 a.m. on Tuesday, to a commercial fire at 400 Workman Road.
When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, flames were shooting through the roof and the request was immediately made for a second alarm response. The flames could be seen for miles as a total of 13 fire companies rushed to the scene. The large, two-story brick building was empty and totally engulfed in flames. The building has reportedly been vacant for years.
Battalion Chief Chris Willmore said the firefighters fought the fire defensively and focused their efforts on protecting the Cabex woodworking shop, which was located next to the building on fire.
Several fire apparatus on the scene raised their aerials and poured thousands of gallons of water on the fire from above while firefighters on the ground used hand-held hoselines to help contain the fire. The building where the fire started was gutted, but the woodworking shop next door was saved. No injuries were reported.
Chief Willmore requested a track hoe from public works to knock down the remaining walls to remove a potential safety hazard to firefighters and the public. The track hoe would also be used to move around the charred debris so that firefighters can get to the hot spots. Workman Road will continue to be closed while that operation takes place. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Chattanooga Police, Hamilton County EMS, EPB, 911's Incident Dispatch Unit (IDU) and Chattanooga-Hamilton County Rescue also provided assistance on the scene.