Former employee defends "Fire and Ice"
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- A former employee is speaking out in defense of a controversial club.
"The 807 Fire and Ice" has been plagued with problems since it opened two years ago.
The latest incident happened last weekend when multiple fights broke out and Chattanooga Police reported shots fired inside.
The city has already suspended the club's beer license twice. Now the Alcoholic Beverage Commission could yank their liquor license.
Saturday, a former employee contradicted police reports, saying he was there last weekend and the reports of gunfire aren't true.
This is the first time we've ever heard anyone speak in defense of 807 Fire and Ice. So far, the owner hasn't returned our phone calls.
Reginald Dwight says he worked at the club as a chef for a year. He believes the community should blame the patrons, not the club.
"You have outsiders that cause trouble for people and that's the big issue," Dwight says.
The Chattanooga man who claims he's a former employee says he's heard enough negative talk about the club.
"There was no gun fired inside the club, or outside the club," he says.
Dwight claims he was there when a brawl spilled into the streets last weekend.
"One of our bartenders got a bar stool thrown at him," Dwight says. "Of course the issue had to be extinguished."
Channel 3 received cell phone video of police cars outside 807 Fire and Ice Club earlier this month.
Chattanooga Police say last weekend multiple fights inside and outside the club led to shots fired.
Officers reported tables, chairs and glass thrown all over the establishment. Since then, downtown residents have called for the owner to turn in his business license.
"I think it's a situation we as citizens of the city should not be willing to put up with," says Kim Gavin with the Homeowner's Association.
But Dwight says the negative press is inaccurate and unfair.
"Many other clubs have also had issues," he says.
Dwight claims the loud slap that rang out when a bar stool came crashing down on the floor sounded like a gun shot.
He says the club has a dress code and employs eight bouncers to keep the peace every night.
Even though Dwight doesn't work there anymore, he still goes to enjoy the music and atmosphere.
He says instead of blaming the club, the community should blame the patrons.
"Some people complain because they want to complain," Dwight says. "Some people just don't want you there and people should be able to go where they want to go."
Channel 3 asked Chattanooga Police if they found rounds or bullet holes inside the club.
A spokesperson declined to answer, saying the investigation is on-going, but officers did not find a gun inside the club.
The city attorney is also investigating and the Alcoholic Beverage Commission will decided in January whether or not to remove the club's liquor license.
Since 807 Fire and Ice opened two years ago, the city has more than 50 complaints.