Family home destroyed after chimney fire - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Family home destroyed after chimney fire

Posted: Updated:

UPDATE: A Hixson family is staying in a hotel Monday after a fire destroyed their home. Nearly 40 firefighters responded to the scene to help put out the flames Saturday. Officials say the fire started in the chimney and spread quickly through the house.

Chains block off the driveway to where a fire destroyed a home over weekend. The family says it’s the treasures inside the home that they will miss the most. The Coxwell family is in shock after a fire ripped through their home over the weekend, leaving nothing behind but memories. “Everyone's first thought is its just things, it can be replaced but the treasures and memories, and those are the things that take the longest to get over. Those cannot be replaced,” said April Coxwell Martin.

April Coxwell and her kids were visiting her parents when the fire started in the chimney of the home. The family lit a fire to warm up after a long afternoon playing in the snow. Moments later a loose ember caught fire in the chimney. “Just have to accept it and be glad we are all here.”

April and her parents returned to her childhood home to survey the damage. Heartbroken knowing family mementos are gone. “You still kind of hope something will be left. But there is not, nothing. You look around and hug your family, and just be glad they are alive.”

Fire officials urge other homeowners to check chimneys during winter months. “The fireplace in this house had not been cleaned for 20 years,” said the Assistant Fire Chief with Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Department, Jack Brellenthin.

The assistant fire chief says chimney fires are preventable. Maintenance can help avoid situations like this. “Have the chimney inspected and cleaned by a certified chimney sweep or service.”

A difficult reminder the Coxwell family hopes others will take seriously, as they cling to what's left. “Firefighters gave him a teddy bear and he named it Smokey. Outside he is okay, but he has carried that bear around 24/7 since it happened,” said Coxwell.

No one was injured during the fire.

The average cost to clean a chimney is $75 to $150. The fire chief says it's important for a chimney sweep to be knowledgeable about building codes, and trained to recognize venting problems. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that chimneys, fireplaces and vents be inspected at least once a year, and suggests removing ashes from the fire place once they've cooled.

Multiple fire departments are on scene of a house fire at 2804 Gold Point Circle. Fire officials say the fire began in the chimney.

The homeowner was home at the time when the fire started and was able to get out safely.

Firefighters have struggled with low water pressure from the hydrants and the wind.

We have a crew on scene, stay with Channel 3 Eyewitness News as this story develops.

Powered by Frankly