Chattanooga Fire Department says around 9 a.m. Saturday they received the alarm for a house fire in the 3500 block of Mountain Creek Road. When officials arrived on the scene, Battalion Chief Chris Willmore said the attached garage to the house was fully engulfed in flames and was spreading rapidly to the house.
When additional firefighters arrived, some focused on preventing the fire from spreading to other homes and others tried to put the fire out in the house. Firefighters say it took about 30 minutes to get the fire under control.
The house was considered a total loss, with the dollar loss estimated at $150,000 on the structure. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The fire displaced three adults and two children. All of them were reportedly home when the fire broke out, but all got out of the house. Paramedics with Hamilton County EMS checked out one resident for signs of smoke inhalation, but that individual declined transport to the hospital. Volunteers with the American Red Cross were called in to provide assistance to the family.
Priscilla Scott, who lives in the home, tells Channel 3 it's a miracle she and her family made it out alive.
"It's truly a blessing that none of us got burned or hurt or anything when you see the devastation of our house," said Scott. "It's unbelievable I don't think it has sunk in yet, but we are all just devastated."
Scott said she had just laid back down after letting her dog out, when her grandson woke her warning her of heavy smoke. She said she immediately checked on everyone else to help them escape.
"I've never seen anything like it. The flames were just spewing out into the wall. My grandson's room was pitch black with smoke."
Neighbors saw the flames and immediately ran to help, while calling 911, including Al Salatka.
"It was so fast that within a minute the whole right side of the house was engulfed," said Salatka. "I saw people getting out okay. I saw people over there trying to get them out, so I was hoping that...okay."
Scott said the damage is hard to see, but the community's support makes it easier.
"We've never had this type of disaster before where we're in need of anybody's help. We always took care of ourselves, so it's all new to us seeing so many people showing up to help."
While firefighters were on scene of the house fire, they received a report of a large brush fire across the street behind an apartment complex. The brush fire was located on steep terrain behind the Trails of Signal Mountain apartment complex. The firefighters carried up rakes, chainsaws and hoselines up the steep hill and concentrated their efforts on protecting the apartments below. At the time of this release, the firefighters were still working the brush fire, but no structures were endangered.