An East Lake home was severely damaged by fire on Friday afternoon, and Theresa Umbreit, 45, was arrested for arson. She admitted firing a Roman candle into a bedroom window. She said she intended to start a fire.
Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to the house fire at 4314 10th Ave. shortly after 3 p.m.
The firefighters responding from Station 9 in East Lake said they could see a huge plume of black smoke from several miles away.
When they arrived on the scene, Captain Chris Cordes with Quint 9 said flames were shooting out both ends of the house.
The firefighters were told by citizens on the scene that someone might still be inside the burning home. As additional fire apparatus arrived on the scene, firefighters made entry with hand-held hose lines.
Captain Cordes said they made an initial attempt to attack the fire inside, but the heat and flames were too intense, so they backed out and fought the fire defensively. Some of the firefighters on the scene used their hose lines to keep the flames from spreading to an adjacent house.
It took the firefighters roughly 30 minutes to get the blaze under control. Fortunately, no one was found inside the house and no injuries were reported.
After a quick investigation, a fire investigator with the Chattanooga Fire Department charged one of the residents of the house with arson. The investigator said Ms. Umbreit confessed to the crime, saying she set fire to the house following a dispute with her husband.
After being charged, Ms. Umbreit was transported to the Hamilton County Jail for booking.
The dollar loss is $70,000 in estimated damages to the structure and $20,000 in damages to the contents.
Officers with the Chattanooga Police Department assisted with the investigation and subsequent arrest.