Firefighters say overnight apartment fire appears to be accident - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Firefighters say overnight apartment fire appears to be accidental

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Five people are looking for a new place to live after their apartment complex went up in flames.

The fire started around midnight Sunday at the complex located on Webb Road in Chattanooga.

Jacqueline Usher lives next door. She told Channel 3 her lights went off and then she heard a loud pop.

Usher said she went outside and saw flames shooting into the air.

“It was like it was blowing up. I got my kids outside and then I knocked on the door of the lady who lives next to me,” said Usher.

Usher worried someone may have been trapped inside of the burning building.

“I was wondering if somebody was in there because I heard screaming,” Usher told Channel 3.

The Chattanooga Fire Department responded quickly.  An officer with the Chattanooga Police Department also came to the scene and helped everyone get out safely.

Investigators say a man living in one of the three units was heating up grease on the stove and left it unattended. When he returned to the kitchen, it was on fire. Investigators say the fire appears to be an accident.

The flames didn’t reach Usher’s home but a couple of windows were shattered and have to be replaced.  She’s thankful everyone is safe.

The damage is estimated to be around $180,000.

The building is insured. The owner told Channel 3 he always urges residents to get renter’s insurance but it is unclear if they had it or not.

The American Red Cross is helping the victims.

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