Chalet Apartment residents thank first responders for saving liv - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Chalet Apartment residents thank first responders for saving lives

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Half a dozen fire trucks from two agencies arrived at the Chalet Apartment Fire scene. Half a dozen fire trucks from two agencies arrived at the Chalet Apartment Fire scene.
RED BANK, TN (WRCB) -

Terrie Carmichael visits the Chalet Apartments in Red Bank Monday. It's her first time back at her mother's apartment since flames took almost everything inside Friday.

"How did we get out of here," Carmichael recalls. "We was blessed."

Blessed because on that day she says she never heard a smoke alarm. Instead, she heard voices and people running outside their apartment and when she looked out, "we didn't see nothing but fire," explains Carmichael.

READ MORE | Fire at Chalet Apts. on Dayton Blvd.

Carmichael wrapped her five-month-old granddaughter, Kelly, in a wet towel, took her mother's hand and tried to get out through the front hallway.

"But when we got outside that's when I started panicking because we couldn't go nowhere then," says Carmichael. "We looked like which way should we go?"

Just then they heard a voice down the hall. It was a firefighter trying to lead them out as the burning building began to collapse around them.

READ MORE | Residents say apartment fire isn't the first

"Then he said run, run, run! and we took off," Carmichael says.

"It was terrible, it was heartbreaking nonetheless," says resident, Marie Ballinger.

Ballinger salvages what she can from her apartment Monday.

"It's just crazy how quick it spread," she says.

Ballinger credits the firefighters and first responders who battled through the heat and flames for saving their lives.

"The only thing I know to say is thank you from the bottom of my heart," Ballinger says.

Carmichael seconds that thought, "thank you for showing us how to get out of the fire, I appreciate it."

Fire officials tell Channel 3 the estimated cost of damages is around $457,000.

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