Fortified Locked Doors Hamper Chattanooga (TN) Firefighters at Fire

Article and photos by Bruce Garner

One of two businesses located in the same building was gutted by fire yesterday morning. The Chattanooga (TN) Fire Department received the initial alarm around 10:30 a.m. and responded to 901 Dodson Avenue with six fire companies. The building was shared by the Blue Spot lounge and Mercury Cab. Captain David Brooks with Engine 4 said the fire was located toward the rear of the lounge and was spreading rapidly up into the attic.

Captain Brooks said their initial efforts to put the fire out were hampered by fortified locked doors. They simply could not get in to the lounge. The firefighters used power saws and other tools to get through the locks, but were unsuccessful. Captain Brooks said the firefighters went in the Mercury Cab side of the building and cut through an interior wall to get into the lounge. By then, the flames had spread well into the attic, so the firefighters had to cut their way into the attic to get water on the fire. It took roughly 30 minutes to get the blaze under control. No injuries were reported.

Firefighter Training Drill: Maintaining Access and Egress

After cutting an access hole, a firefighter peers into the smoke-filled attic and uses a handline to get water on the fire.

After cutting an access hole, a firefighter peers into the smoke-filled attic and uses a handline to get water on the fire.

While fire caused extensive damage to the Blue Spot, the Mercury Cab business next door was spared any fire damage. An interior wall was damaged when the firefighters had to cut through it, but the firefighters prevented a lot of water damage by placing tarps over the furniture and office equipment.

A firefighter tries to extinguish flames on the side of the building while an unidentified EPB technician works to disconnect the meter that services the cab company. There was no electrical service to the lounge.

A firefighter tries to extinguish flames on the side of the building while an unidentified EPB technician works to disconnect the meter that services the cab company. There was no electrical service to the lounge.

Firefighters place tarps over furniture and office equipment in Mercury Cab to minimize water damage.

Firefighters place tarps over furniture and office equipment in Mercury Cab to minimize water damage.

The Blue Spot was reportedly unoccupied at the time of the fire and did not have any electrical service. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Chattanooga police, Hamilton County EMS, and EPB provided assistance on the scene.

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