UPDATE: House fire blamed on boxes placed too close to heater
Firefighters at the Agnes Avenue home Tuesday. Photo by Bruce Garner/CFD
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
UPDATE: Chattanooga Fire Department investigators have determined the likely cause of yesterday’s house fire on Agnes Avenue.
Lt. Henry McElvain said the residents were in the process of moving into the house and someone had placed boxes in front of a wall heater in the bathroom.
McElvain believes it was cool enough for the wall heater to automatically turn on, making the boxes got hot enough to start a fire.
No one was in the home at the time, but a neighbor noticed smoke coming from the house and called 911 according to Bruce Garner, Public Information Director for the Chattanooga Fire Department.
Firefighters were able to contain the blaze to the bathroom, but the rest of the house sustained smoke and water damage, which was estimated to be at $45,000.
Volunteers with the American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee provided assistance to the victims.
Though it’s early in the season to be offering this safety warning, residents should be aware of the potential dangers of portable heaters and wall heaters. “Some of those heaters don’t have on/off switches,” said McElvain. “They just have a knob that goes from low to high. Even now, the temperature is dropping into the 50s overnight, and that may be enough for heaters to cycle on.” McElvain said it’s important to remember the three foot rule when heaters are involved. “Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heaters,” he said.
PREVIOUS STORY: Chattanooga firefighters responded to a house fire at 37 Agnes Avenue, a little before 4 p.m.
According to Engine 15 Captain, Danny Usher there was heavy smoke coming from the rear of the one-story house.
Firefighters made their way inside the house and found a large fire in the bathroom and were able to get the fire out relatively quick, containing the fire to mostly one room.
There was some smoke and water damage to adjacent rooms.
No one was home during the fire and no injuries were reported.