Two boys playing with matches seems to be the cause of a Wednesday afternoon fire on East Brainerd Road.
Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to a structure fire at 8143 E. Brainerd Road. Firefighters say smoke from the fire was clearly visible from miles away as they raced to the scene. When firefighters arrived on scene, they encountered a carport fully engulfed in flames, and were spreading the house next to the carport.
A fire investigator says two boys playing with matches started a fire in the carport area. When they could not put the fire out themselves, they alerted their grandmother, who also tried to put the fire out with a pan of water. When her efforts failed, the grandmother led the boys away from the house. A witness at a nearby business spotted the fire and called 911.
Battalion Chief Rick Boatwright said the firefighters had a difficult time extinguishing the fire because the house had several rooms added on, along with several layers of roofing. After a city building inspector condemned the building, the decision was made to bring in a trackhoe from public works to raze the structure so the firefighters could completely extinguish the fire. Chief Boatwright estimated the dollar loss at $50,000 for the building and $50,000 for the contents.
The cause of the fire has been ruled accidental. Chattanooga Police, Hamilton County EMS and EPB provided assistance on the scene.