UPDATE: Family mourns after Suck Creek Road Trailer fire claims - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Victim of Suck Creek trailer fire ID'ed

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Firefighters finish their work at the fatal trailer fire Friday on Suck Creek Road. WRCBtv.com photo Firefighters finish their work at the fatal trailer fire Friday on Suck Creek Road. WRCBtv.com photo
HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: The Hamilton County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the victim in the trailer home fire on on Suck Creek Road as John H. Winnie, 58.  

The death appears to have been accidental and related to the fire itself, with no evidence of foul play, according to a news release.


We're learning more about the early morning trailer fire on Suck Creek Road that claimed one person's life, Friday.

Deputies with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office said they are waiting for the human remains found inside of the home, to be officially identified.

Family members told Channel 3 Eyewitness News, it took just minutes for the home to be fully engulfed in flames. Friends tried to save the homeowner but they couldn't get in.

READ MORE | Suck Creek Road trailer fire claims one life

"I get up and I see it everyday," said Shane Reese, victim's family member.

Shane Reese identified the man found dead inside of the trailer home Friday as his 56-year old cousin John Henry Winnie. Reese lives next door and found out the home was on fire through his daughter on the way to school; he said her friend spotted the smoke and called her.

"Everybody loved him and I mean everybody. There is no one on this road over this mountain or on the other side who didn't know who John Henry is," said Reese.

When Reese stepped outside, friends were already on the scene trying to help.

"One of my friends that I went to school with approached me he had actually tried to got through the door," said Reese.

Heavy smoke and flames over came him. Chattanooga Fire Department, Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Department, Red Bank Fire Department and Walden's Ridge Emergency Services are among the agencies that responded. The fire was outside city limits. that means instead of Chattanooga Fire Department sending a truck three miles away, volunteer firefighters had to travel twice that distance to get there. When Chattanooga Fire got the call for back-up, it did send two trucks. First responders said the scene was a challenge to work because they had to work around propane tanks and "other chemicals" as they fought the fire. Officials also said there are no fire hydrants on that portion of Suck Creek Road.

"In my opinion I think they responded fairly fast but with the structure of this building it just went up quick," said Reese.

Loved ones describe John Henry as a sweet man, a jokester who always wore a smile. They said he who would give anybody the shirt off of his back. Friends said he spent most of his time fixing up old cars and loving on his dachshund puppy who is now missing.

"He didn't have much he would give you what he had," said Reese. "He was old-school when he dressed, very rarely was he not in Liberty overalls. When he was with that little dog he tucked that dog in those overalls and she went everywhere with him."

Family members tell Channel 3 they are waiting for the official medical examiner's report to determine the exact cause of death. Officials say the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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