HAMILTON COUNTY (WRCB)-- Chattanooga firefighters had a tough time trying to save a large house Thursday night.  Firefighters from Station 19 in Hixson were initially dispatched around 8:30 p.m. to investigate "smoke in the area" behind the Food Lion on Hixson Pike.  As the firefighters approached the wooded area on Bid Ridge Road, they could see smoke coming from a large house that was still under construction. 

The firefighters faced several hurdles.  The driveway was too steep to drive up with their fire truck, but they were able to drive on a gravel road to get fairly close to the house.  Other fire companies arriving on the scene had to park on Big Ridge Road and carry their hose lines and other equipment up the long, steep driveway.  The firefighters also had to lay roughly 2,000 feet of hose line along the road to get to the nearest hydrant.

Captain Kelly Simmons with Quint 19 said smoke was pouring out of the house, but no fire was visible.  As the firefighters forced their way through the locked doors, they found flames and intense heat throughout the interior of the three-story structure.  It took firefighters from six fire companies roughly an hour to get the blaze under control.  An estimate on the dollar loss was not available, but the fire damage to the interior of the house was substantial.

Several firefighters had to be treated on the scene for heat exhaustion.  One firefighter was transported by Hamilton County EMS to a local hospital for additional observation.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.  Chattanooga police and Chattanooga-Hamilton County Rescue also provided assistance on the scene.