UPDATE: Fire destroys local assist-living home; lightning possib - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Fire destroys local assist-living home; lightning possible cause

Posted: Updated:
Photo by WRCB photojournalist Timothy Bradfield. Photo by WRCB photojournalist Timothy Bradfield.
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Nearly a dozen people are living somewhere else after fire destroyed an assisted-living home.

Several fire crews were called to Senior Saints Home for the Elderly in the 700 block of Belvoir Avenue shortly after 6:30 p.m.

East Ridge Fire Chief Mike Williams tells Channel 3 that 10 tenants and four employees were able to safely escape from the home. An Angel EMS disaster bus then took the residents to another nursing home that had enough beds. 

Williams says the cause of the fire could be lightning, because firefighters saw smoke coming from the roof, leading investigators to believe the fire started in the attic.

However, the official cause has not been determined and is under investigation.

A woman and her daughter noticed the smoke while driving down Belvoir Avenue and called 911. The woman, Christy Salley, then proceeded to knock on the front door to alert the residents.

"And I pounded the door really hard and the lady came to the door and said - oh no, it's alright it's just electrical work. I said - no ma'am your house is on fire, you have to get out," Salley said.

The East Ridge Fire Department was the first one called to the scene. Firefighters from Red Bank and Tri-Community VFD were called in to help with the blaze.

No one was injured during the incident.

Williams says the home is a total loss, leaving those 10 tenants homeless and four others without a job.

The Red Cross will be helping those displaced.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.

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