Ten Families Homeless After Fire - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Ten Families Homeless After Fire

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RED BANK, TN (WRCB) -- A gaping, burned hole is what you'll see when you look ride past building "A" of the Chalet Apartments in Red Bank.

Witnesses tell us flames broke out in the middle apartment rented out by an elderly couple. The man who lives there is retired and used to wave at everyone he saw.

Linda Harvey said "I usually see him walking up and down the complex sometimes."

But last night while he and his wife were sleeping, something went terribly wrong.

Dirk Chapman said, "When I heard fire, you just pick up and go and just try to help people."

Chapman, a former South Pittsburgh firefighter, thought his days of battling blazes were over, until just after midnight Wednesday.

When his neighboring apartment went up in flames, in true firefighter form, he grabbed a water hose and did what he knew best.

"I heard someone yell fire so we ran out and tried to get everyone out and we saw where it was so we grabbed a hose and tried to push it back until the fire department got there."

Once they arrived, it was only a matter of time before fire was put out, but the damage was lasting.

The apartments were condemned by public works and ten families are without a home.

Chapman said as the couple escaped, he was trying to keep the fire from spreading. "The door was open and I could see where the fire was at so we tried to push it back as far as we could."

Investigators aren't sure how the fire started.

The Red Cross is assisting at least ten families.

Public works says it will be a least a week before they will know if anyone can move back in.

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