UPDATE: Apartment fire cause ruled accidental - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Apartment fire cause ruled accidental

Posted: Updated:
Courtesy: Chattanooga Fire Department Courtesy: Chattanooga Fire Department
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Investigators for the Chattanooga Fire Department say they know what may have caused the Tuesday afternoon fire that left two units heavily at Mountain Creek Apartments.

The fire started on the deck of apartment 174 on the first floor.

After talking with the residents in that apartment and examining the physical evidence, Lt. Henry McElvain said the cause of the fire will be ruled accidental, most likely from improperly discarded cigarettes.
 
The firefighters were able to contain the blaze to two apartment units. The remaining 18 units in that building were saved.

The dollar loss was estimated at $200,000 for the building, $12,000 for the contents in the two apartment units, and $1,500 to a truck that was parked close to the two apartments damaged by the fire.

UPDATE: The calls started coming in to 911 Communications at 2:41 p.m. People were calling to say they could see big flames coming from an apartment at Mountain Creek Apartments.

The Chattanooga Fire Department responded with six fire companies. The first on the scene was Quint 17 from the fire station on Signal Mountain Boulevard.

Captain Mose Duckett said smoke and flames were shooting out the windows of apartments 174 and 175 in Building P.

Firefighters took in hand-held hoselines and conducted a quick search to make sure no one was inside. The apartments appeared to be empty, but firefighters did find a pet cat that appeared to be suffering from smoke inhalation.

The cat was handed off to another firefighter away from the fire scene, who administered oxygen to the cat. After a few minutes, the cat's condition appeared to improve.

Meantime, Battalion Chief Rick Sewell requested two additional fire companies to respond, bringing the total to eight fire companies.

While a few firefighters made sure everyone was out of their apartments, other firefighters aggressively used hand-held hoselines to contain the fire. Despite the brisk wind, the firefighters were able to get the blaze under control in roughly 20 minutes. No injuries were reported.

Chief Sewell said the firefighters pulled some ceilings and cut into walls, and stopped the progression of the fire at the breezeway. The fire damage was contained to two apartment units.

Another two or three may have had some degree of smoke and water damage, but the majority of the apartments in the 20-unit building were spared any significant damage. An estimate on the dollar loss was not available.

So far, it's believed that six families were displaced by the fire, and loss of electrical service. Volunteers with the American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee were called in to provide assistance to the families.

Lt. Henry McElvain with the Fire Investigation Division said the fire appears to have started on the balcony of Apartment 174.

What sparked the blaze remains undetermined and under investigation. Chattanooga police, Hamilton County EMS, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Rescue and EPB all provided valuable assistance on the scene.


Chattanooga firefighters are battling a fire on Mountain Creek Road at Mountain Creek Apartments. 

Channel 3 has a crew on scene and we will bring you more information as it becomes available.

Stay with Channel 3 and WRCBtv.com for more information on this developing story. 

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