UPDATE: Fire investigators looking for man whose duplex burned - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Fire investigators looking for man whose duplex burned

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Chattanooga fire officials are investigating a Tuesday night fire that damaged two apartment units.

But that's not the only think they're busy with.

Bruce Garner said everyone made it out safely but that they can't find the resident of the upstairs unit at 2079 Museum Street.

The fire happened at the duplex around 8:00 p.m. Tuesday. Firefighters arrived to see smoke and flames coming from the second floor of the two-story building.

Channel 3 spoke with next-door neighbor Alicia Ponder who said she and her fiance were in the garden when they saw the fire.

"It started in the kitchen when we first went over there with our hose," Ponder said.

Ponder's fiance grabbed the garden hose and ran up the duplex's side steps where he sprayed down the flames just feet from the fire. She said he may have saved the home from further damage.

"You can see the kitchen stove," she said pointing to the open window. "If it weren't for [him] the whole thing probably would've went up."

Firefighters arrived and contained the fire to the upstairs unit but the first floor apartment has some water damage. 

Garner said there's no official cause yet. But Ponder told Channel 3 what she thinks happened.

"The elderly man who lives on the top floor went to sleep and left something on the stove burning," she said. "He said, 'well I'm going in here to get me something to eat, forget y'all.' So he went inside and left it on the stove."

Ponder said she was talking with the man she said lives on the second floor of the duplex just before the fire. She thinks the fire started accidently with food left on the stove.

Garner estimates damage at $35,000.

The Red Cross provided assistance to the residents in the first floor apartment

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