By Bruce Garner
It was a close call for four residents when fire broke out in their home early Sunday morning. The Chattanooga (TN) Fire Department received the alarm at 6:42 a.m. and responded to 5022 Browntown Road with four fire companies. Battalion Chief Don Bowman said most of the house was fully engulfed in flames when the first firefighters arrived on the scene. The firefighters eventually got the blaze under control, but the damage was extensive and the house was considered a total loss.
Chief Bowman said the rented house was occupied by four young adults, including one woman and three men. The woman said they were all asleep when her cat meowed and licked her face and woke her up. That’s when she discovered that the house was on fire. She woke up the others and all got out. However, one of the men went back in and searched for the cat in the house, but was forced out by the smoke and heat. That individual was later transported by Hamilton County EMS to a local hospital for smoke inhalation. Chief Bowman said his injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Volunteers with the American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee were called in to provide assistance to the victims. The firefighters did not find the cat in the house. Chief Bowman said the cat may have run out of the house and into some nearby woods.