UPDATE:  A wood stove is to blame for a fire that destroyed a family's garage in Harrison.

Firefighters said a family member was living there and used the wood stove for heat. It's a reminder of the possible dangers that go along with heating sources.

Smoke and debris are all that's left of the unattached garage. Neighbors remember the moments before the fire broke out on Sentinel Lane on New Year's Day.

"I heard what sounded like a gun going off. Kind of a loud pop noise," Katie Barker who called 9-1-1 said.

Barker went outside and saw the family's garage engulfed in flames.

"The flames were so thick and so high at that point. You could barely see any of the building left at that point," Barker said.

Firefighters say a man was using a wood stove to stay warm in these bitter cold temperatures. They say the fire burned his back and damaged the back porch of another home.

Highway 58 and Tri-Community volunteer fire departments worked quickly to make sure it didn't spread anywhere else.

"It can happen quickly and the thing once the fire starts, it can expand quickly," Captain Brent Arnold of the Chattanooga Fire Department said.

Captain Arnold said he expects many people will be using electric heaters and wood stoves this week. He urges people to watch these heating sources because they can be dangerous.

Arnold said wood stoves pose their own challenges.

"Most people don't clean their chimneys and venting avenues as they should. So, it tends to be overlooked," Captain Arnold said.

As for space heaters, he said to keep them at least three feet away from any other object.

Plug it directly into a power outlet and turn it off before you leave the room or go to sleep. It's all to prevent more fires from happening during this cold snap.

The fire is being ruled an accident. It's unclear how much it will set the family back financially.


PREVIOUS STORY: A Harrison family started 2018 with a garage that destroyed the structure.

The Highway 58 Volunteer Fire Department responded to the fire about 9:00am on Sentinel Highway and discovered a separate, free-standing garage that was fully involved, according to Amy Maxwell, spokesman for Hamilton County Emergency Services.

Firefighters were able to quickly to contain the fire to the garage. A back porch from an adjacent home suffered some damage from the fire. 

A family member who lived in the garage was using a wood stove for heat. Officials say that the person's clothes caught fire from the wood stove, and he suffered minor burns to his back. The victim was treated on the scene by HCEMS but denied transport to the hospital. 

The cause of the fire is considered accidental from the wood stove. Damages are unknown at this time.