CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- An odd chain of events kept law enforcement and fire departments hopping early Tuesday in East Ridge, and resulted in the arrest of a man in connection with an apartment fire, an auto theft and a vehicle crashing into a building.

East Ridge Fire/Arson Investigators arrested 21-year-old Thomas Shirley in connection with apartment fire on Spring Creek Road this morning.

Shirley was transported to the Hamilton County Jail where he was charged with aggravated arson, attempted murder, and reckless endangerment.  

Shirley has also been charged in connection to an auto theft which also occurred this morning at the same apartments as the fire, which is located at 950 Spring Creek Road.

The events ended when Shirley crashed the vehicle into a building at the intersection of Shallowford Road and Standifer Gap Road.

The occupants at the apartment were trapped on the second floor by heavy smoke, and were safely rescued by East Ridge Fire/Rescue with a mutual aid assist from nearby Catoosa County Fire/Rescue.

The fire was deemed suspicious in nature; anyone with information is encouraged to contact the East Ridge Police Department confidential tip line at 423-867-0016.