By Bruce Garner
Photo by Lt. Ivan Hicks
A kitchen fire on August 8 caused considerable damage to a home and left a family of five homeless. The Chattanooga (TN) Fire Department received the alarm at 8:00 p.m. and responded to 3223 Navajo Drive with four fire companies.
Captain Chris Fryar with Engine 15 reported seeing fire and heavy smoke coming from the roof as they arrived on the scene. Captain Fryar said the initial reports from the 911 call was that there was a house fire with entrapment.
Fortunately, all family members were safely outside the home, except for their pet dog. As the firefighters went inside the one-story house and worked to get the blaze under control, Senior Firefighter Eric Roddy found their dog and carried it outside to the anxious family. The dog appeared to be uninjured.
Captain Fryar said the fire started in the kitchen, but had spread into the attic and even broke through the roof. Captain Fryar said their efforts were hampered by multiple layers of roofs, making it difficult to get to the fire. Despite the obstacles, the firefighters got the blaze under control in about 20 minutes. No injuries were reported.
The cause of the fire was ruled accidental. Family members told firefighters that hot grease on the stove caught fire and quickly spread up the wall and into the attic. The dollar loss was estimated at $65,000.
Volunteers with the American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee were called in to provide assistance to the adult and four children who lived there. Chattanooga police and Hamilton County EMS also provided assistance on the scene.