Hamilton Co. crews battle several fires - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Fire official: "Rest is always second when it comes to saving lives"

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- It was a busy weekend for firefighters in Hamilton County, battling one fire after another.

There were three fires in Chattanooga, one in Lakesite and another in Red Bank. They're not linked, but they kept firefighters on their toes all night and morning.

Channel 3 learned the fire at Lakesite was one of the largest in a while, burning 7,000 square feet of house to the ground. Viewer iPhone video shows just how big the flames got at the million dollar home on Driftwood Road around 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

"It was like two hotels stacked up together and it was really tall, and then all of a sudden big bombs, not bombs, but flames started coming out of the house," neighbor, Emma Carter says.

"This is around a 7,000 square foot home, so you're talking a massive fire, three alarm fire," Hamilton County Emergency Services spokeswoman Amy Maxwell says.

Several fire crews rushed to the scene after the homeowners reported flames coming from their boat in the garage.

"With the boat being on fire and full of fuel, it ignited the fire to spread through the first floor," Maxwell says.

All three floors collapsed.

"When they saw the structure was not stable, they immediately exited the home and did a defensive attack," Maxwell says.

Crews were able to salvage five of eight antique cars, but $2 million worth of property was destroyed.

It took crews four hours to contain that fire, but their challenging shift wasn't over.

"They're out here, I guess, just on adrenaline," Maxwell says.

Some of the same fire crews went from that fire, to one at 9:30 a.m. Sunday on Lancaster Road in Red Bank, where an elderly couple found flames ripping through their kitchen.

"Fully involved fire in the back part of the house. Immediately made an interior attack and contained it to the back part of the house," Maxwell says.

This blaze caused $50,000 in damages.

Crews say they're just thankful they made it through the day without any homeowners or firefighters being injured.

"Rest is always second when it comes to saving lives and protecting property," Maxwell says.

Both sets of homeowners had insurance and have a place to stay.

Fire investigators are working to determine the cause of each, but again, both are considered accidental.

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