UPDATE: Woman suffers first degree burns in Christmas Day house - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Woman suffers first degree burns in Christmas Day house fire

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UPDATE: A Chattanooga woman is recovering from severe burns after a fire broke out inside her apartment on Christmas day. She had to be carried out by a firefighter but officials say she's lucky to still be alive.

The fire happened inside of a home off of East 10th Street around 1:30 p.m, Sunday. 

The victim was treated on the scene for first degree burns to her hands and arms and smoke inhalation. She was treated and released at a local hospital. Officials say she is expected to be okay. 

 "Could have been a great loss, could have been a very big loss," said Asst. Fire Marshal Chuck Hartung, Chattanooga Fire Dept. "It's very good our fire units got to the scene very quickly, were able to respond and put the fire out and contain it to one unit." 

Assistant Fire Marshal Chuck Hartung says firefighters were on the scene within 5 minutes of the call for help. They found an upstairs couch and rug engulfed in flames and put it out. Officials say the historic house could have easily been destroyed, leaving four sets of families without a place to live.. 

"The fire was contained to one apartment," said Hartung. "It's a quadruplex, there are several apartments in the house." 

Investigators say the cause will most likely be a candle, based on preliminary information.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, candle fires cause an annual average of 86 civilian fire deaths and 827 civilian fire injuries each year. Research shows the top four days for home candle fires are New Years Day, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, and Christmas Eve. 

"We just recommend if you are going to use a candle, use it wisely," said Hartung. "Use it in a room where you are present all the time and never leave a candle unattended; it's just too dangerous."

The total cost of damage is still being determined. Officials say the official cause of the blaze is still under investigation. 

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.


PREVIOUS STORY: The Chattanooga Fire Department responded to a house fire on the 900 block of East 10th Street just after 1:30 p.m. Christmas Day.  

First units on scene reported nothing visible from the street. Upon further investigation firefighters found a sofa on fire in the upstairs portion of the house.  Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire and remove a female occupant of the house. 

The female was promptly treated by firefighters  for first degree burns to both hands and smoke inhalation. The female was transported to Erlanger by HCEMS. 

The fire was contained to the sofa and rug, firefighters checked the entire residence and attic for fire extension. Captain McElvain with fire investigation stated that the cause was most likely a candle.

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