Chattanooga firefighters battle flames and freezing temps at two East Brainerd homes
It was a busy morning for Chattanooga firefighters.
It was a busy morning for Chattanooga firefighters. Crews had to battle two massive house fires in the East Brainerd area within a few hours of one another.
The first fire was on Magnolia Lake Drive around 2:30 Friday morning. Then eight hours later and three miles away, a fire destroyed a home on Hurricane Creek Road.
Chattanooga firefighters had to battle more than just flames. While most of us are doing what we can to avoid this cold weather, firefighters have no choice but go through it.
The family of six was away when a fire broke out at their East Brainerd home. High flames and thick black smoke took all they had. “You go, oh my gosh. This family just lost everything.” Neighbor, Rob Alley, was one of the first to see the flames. “The front windows and the front door were just rolling flames. Immediately you knew, this is bad. This is really bad.”
Frigid temperatures made fighting those flames, a challenge. Firefighters battled the brutal temperatures and equipment failures while trying to extinguish the blaze that gutted the home. “The first arriving fire arrangement the pumper was frozen. Which caused a real issue for us. In order to get to the fire and get the water onto the house. There is also a hydrant that isn't working properly,” said Bruce Garner with the Chattanooga Fire Department.
Sky Three captured the moments firefighters worked to contain the fire. The temperature was hovering at 21 degrees with a wind chill in the teens. As firefighters worked to knock the fire out, water from the hoses freezing over their uniforms and equipment. “It's very cold, even for firefighters. When you are wearing the turnout gear that is soaked in water and it's crusting over with ice. Then you know it's really cold.”
The cause of both fires is still under investigation. The house on Magnolia Lake Drive was vacant. But neighbors on Hurricane Creek Road are working to gather remaining items for the family.