UPDATE: January fire that destroyed two businesses set intentionally, say investigators
The fire severely damaged two local businesses, Summitt Pianos and General Appliance Warehouse.
UPDATE: Chattanooga fire department fire investigators say that the January 30, 2018 fire that severely damaged Summitt Pianos and General Appliance Warehouse was set intentionally.
CFD spokesman Bruce Garner says that the investigation will continue.
PREVIOUS STORY: Chattanooga firefighters were called back out Wednesday morning to the scene of two Lee Highway businesses that caught fire last Monday night/early Tuesday morning.
The fire that severely damaged two local businesses, Summitt Pianos and General Appliance Warehouse, may be re-kindled.
Drivers in the 6200 block of Lee Highway should use caution as emergency vehicles maneuver around the area.
PREVIOUS STORY: Two businesses are closed after a fire ripped through and destroyed everything inside. It happened on the 6200 block of Lee Highway, not far from the Lee Highway Memorial.
The businesses that were destroyed were locally owned. Summitt Pianos has been around the Chattanooga area for more than 100 years, today a part of their history was ruined by the massive fire.
Cell phone video sent to Channel 3 shows flames and smoke shooting through the roof.
"It’s just total destruction, it's awful, it makes me feel sad,” said customer Larry Otto. Summitt Pianos is on the lower level, above it is home to General Appliance Warehouse.
"They knew a lot about the products and I got a good deal,” Otto said. Otto is a longtime customer, he and his wife have moved several times, and each time they needed new appliances they came here to this mom and pop shop on Lee Highway.
"The owner was very personable; he came to our house and helped deliver the refrigerator,” he said. The majority of the damage is in the General Appliance space, but investigators still haven't said what caused the fire.
The efforts to save the structure seeped through the cracks into the business below.
"We've got a lot of wet pianos, smoke damage, everything's wet but it's not burned up like upstairs,” said Ted Summitt. Summitt is the Owner of Chattanooga’s oldest piano and organ retailer. It’s a family's owned business that's more than 100 years old.
"It's a sad day but it could've been a lot worse, they lost everything upstairs at General Appliance. We’re safe and no ones hurt we can always replace the pianos,” he said.
It's also a sad day for customers too, who knew the building and the businesses inside.
"The big keyboard that was up on the side there, I mean everyone knew where that was you know?" Otto said.
The owner of Summitt Pianos tells us they were able to save some records and computers, but everything else has smoke and water damage. They are going to try and find a new place to re-open their business in the near future.
PREVIOUS STORY: Chattanooga Fire Department responded to a large fire overnight at General Appliance Warehouse on Lee Highway.
The fire started just after midnight. Fire crews were able to get a majority of the flames out by 2:00 am, but will still be on scene throughout the morning due to hot spots.
The building housed General Appliance Warehouse on the first level, with Summitt Pianos and Organs on the lower level.
Fire officials on scene say the building has significant damage, and both businesses have heavy losses. An estimate of the dollar loss due to damage is not available. No injuries are reported.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Stay with Channel 3 as we continue to learn more.