Kitchen fire leads to man's death
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - A man died after trying to put out a kitchen grease fire on Sunday. According to a news release emailed to Channel 3 Eyewitness News, the firefighters got the call at 4:30 Sunday afternoon and responded to 1501 East 13th Street with five fire companies.
Captain Randy Steele with Engine 5 said he was informed by 911 Dispatch that it was a grease fire and that everyone had made it out of the structure. Upon arrival, the firefighters rushed into the house and were able to extinguish the relatively small fire with a portable fire extinguisher.
Captain Steel said one man and two small children were placed inside one of the fire trucks to get them out of the cold. Fred Wyatt Jr., 56, said he preferred to sit on the front porch. Fire investigators found out later that Mr. Wyatt attempted to put the grease fire out himself before getting out of the house. Mr. Wyatt was sitting on the porch when the first firefighters arrived.
Wyatt -- who was hooked up to an oxygen bottle -- looked as though he was struggling to breathe, according to firefighters.
As the paramedics attempted to move Mr. Wyatt off the porch, he collapsed. The paramedics administered CPR to the victim on the way to Erlanger Medical Center, but Mr. Wyatt did not survive. This morning, Hamilton County Medical Examiner Dr. Frank King said Mr. Wyatt "died of apparent smoke inhalation, pending a toxicological report."