Early morning fire forces residents to evacuate apartments - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Early morning fire forces residents to evacuate apartments

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

A lower apartment in the Hamilton Pointe complex off East Brainerd Road is destroyed Sunday. An early morning fire caused residents to evacuate. No one was injured, but first responders had to rescue multiple people out of the unit.

An early morning fire gave residents quite the scare here at Hamilton Pointe. Many were woken up to fire fighters yelling to get out.
 

Residents living in Hamilton Pointe Apartments were forced from their homes early Sunday morning. Curt Dennis, a former volunteer firefighter, knew something was wrong when he saw smoke near his balcony light. He was one of the first to call for help.

“I came out to the balcony and saw a fire blazing right down there. So I called 911,” said Dennis.
The heavy smoke coming from the apartment directly below his made it difficult for him to get out. “I tried to get out of my apartment. I couldn't. The stairwell was black and very hot. Heavy smoke. I couldn't get out that way. I threw on some clothes, tried that way again. Someone was yelling get out. Fire! Fire! I came out to the balcony hoping someone would see me. Firefighters got the ladder for me to get down.”

Firefighters had to break through glass to wake up the man living across the hall. “By the time I got up, try opening my window someone was putting their foot through it. I got out and just saw flames billowing out on her patio door,” said Derek Akers.

Neighbors say a woman living in the complex fell asleep with a cigarette in her hand. “Scary, a lot of lives at danger here,” said Glenda Stoudmire.

As fire crews sift through the debris residents are thankful this frightening situation ended the way it did. “Glad everyone got out safe. Scary being 40 feet away from flames. But I am glad everyone is safe,” said Akers.

Residents were able to return home around 7 Sunday morning. Many seeing no damage to their homes.

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