Small fire forces evacuation at UTC Engineering building - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Small fire forces evacuation at UTC Engineering building

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Chattanooga firefighters responded to UTC Monday morning around 10:30 when a small fire broke out in the Engineering, Match and Computer Science building on Vine Street.

When the fire alarm in the building sounded, all faculty and students made it out of the building without injury. As firefighters arrived on the scene, nothing was visible from the outside. But as firefighters made their way inside, smoke was visible, particularly on the 3rd and 4th floors.

Battalion Chief Chuck McMillian said a small fire was located in the stairwell between the 3rd and 4th floors. Captain David Thompson Jr. with Quint 2 advised that the fire had burned itself out, but the building needed to be ventilated.

None of the windows could be opened manually, so a firefighter used an ax to break one open. As he broke the glass, a shard flew back and hit him on the side of his head, causing a laceration. He was transported to a local hospital by Hamilton County EMS, where he was treated and released. No other injuries were reported.

Firefighters opened all the doors to the building and used high-powered fans to ventilate the building. By 1:00 p.m., the air in the building was deemed safe and classes resumed.

Fire investigators believe the fire was intentionally set. An investigation is underway.

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