The Chattanooga Fire Department is investigating two suspicious commercial fires on Hixson Pike.
The businesses involved are in close proximity to one another and the fires took place around the same time on the afternoon of July 4. They were also similar in nature.
The CFD responded first to 4221 Hixson Pike, the Precision Tune Auto Care at 3:35 p.m.
Quint 16 was first on scene and found heavy black smoke coming from the building.
Tires and pallets were on fire at the back of the business.
Flames also got into the back bay where cars are worked on.
Firefighters stopped the fire from getting to the oil tanks inside.
They got the fire out on the exterior and the interior and also extinguished a brush fire on the hill behind the structure.
There were no injuries.
Then, a few minutes later and right up the street, CFD was called to 4535 Hixson Pike at Southern Insurance Associates.
Units were in area for the first fire and they were able to respond quickly to the second location.
Bystanders spotted the fire from the road and called it in. They also used a garden hose and flower pot to try to put it out.
Flames were coming from a window at the back of the building when crews pulled up.
Firefighters got the window fire out and made entry into the business to check the interior. They made an investigation and determined that the fire was fully extinguished.
There was smoke damage to the inside of the building, as well as water and fire damage to a back office.
Firefighters saved an estimated $300,000 from being lost by stopping the fire from spreading. The owners believe there is around $50,000 in damage to their offices.
The cause of both fires is under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to come forward. Fire investigators were on both scenes on Saturday.
Chief Phil Hyman pointed out the suspicious nature of the fires and thanked firefighters for working hard in the heat on what will be a busy day/night for the fire department.
“We will be looking into these fires and piecing everything together. Anytime you have something like this happen with the same methods used in the same area at the same time, it raises eyebrows. Our crews did a great job saving these businesses, as well as other businesses and residential areas around them,” he said on the scene.