Fire EMS, Firefighting

Chattanooga (TN) House Fire Leaves Two Dead


UPDATE: Both victims of this fire succumbed to their injuries. The couple’s three children escaped the fire with minor injuries.

Original Story: For the second time in three days, a house fire has resulted in tragedy. At 10:13 a.m. today, Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to a reported house fire with entrapment at 220 Houser Street. The first firefighters on the scene saw flames shooting out windows and part of the roof. Having been told that people might still be inside, the firefighters grabbed hand-held hoselines and made their way inside.

The firefighters found two adults in the house, a male and female, and carried them outside. Both victims appeared to be suffering from severe burns and smoke inhalation. Captain David Thompson Jr. said the woman was not breathing, so the firefighters immediately started CPR on her. Both victims were handed off to paramedics with Hamilton County EMS, who rushed them to Erlanger Medical Center. After being treated in Erlanger’s emergency room, both victims were expected to be flown to the burn unit at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville.

Details are still being obtained on exactly what happened with this fire, but three children were also reportedly in the house when the fire broke out. A neighbor told firefighters that when he saw that the house was on fire, he ran to it and tried to alert the family. Neighbors said the children ran to their grandmothers house, which is located a short distance around the block.

When Battalion Chief Lesley Morgan learned about the children, she asked EMS to go check on them. Captain Wade Batson with Hamilton County EMS said two of the children, ages 9 and 10, were transported to Children’s Hospital at Erlanger for minor burns and smoke inhalation. The third child appeared to be uninjured.

The house was a total loss. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The Major Crimes Division of the Chattanooga Police Department is also assisting with the investigation, which is standard protocol when serious injuries are involved.

Just two days ago, on November 24, 2014, a 25-year-old woman died in a house fire at 1332 Highland Way. That was the first fire-related death in Chattanooga for 2014.