UPDATE: Lightning from Wednesday's storms is believed to be the most likely cause of an apartment building fire in East Brainerd, according to the Chattanooga Fire Department spokesman Bruce Garner.

Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched at 10:08pm Wednesday night to the Hidden Creek Apartments at 7710 East Brainerd Road. A second alarm brought in five additional fire companies to join forces with the original six fire companies. 

When firefighters arrived, they saw signs of charring in an apartment on the first floor in Building 13, but no actual fire. The entire building was evacuated as a precautionary measure. 

Firefighters searched the apartments above as well as the attic, but no fire was found. Small embers were found in a wall on the first floor and firefighters used a hose line to wet down the affected area. No injuries were reported. 

Firefighters used high-powered fans to ventilate the building. 

It's not clear how many people were living there. Channel was told they were moved to another unit within the apartment complex because of smoke damage. Abigail Johnson lives in the same building . She says she didn't know about the strike until we knocked on her door. 

"I came home this morning and it just smelled so odd," said Johnson. "I’m glad I wasn’t here but I just hope that they get everything fixed for the people that it’s really affecting I know I really want my power back I had to get ready in the dark this morning."

As storms continue to hover over the East Brainerd area, some are hoping lightning doesn't strike in the same place twice. 

"You never think that lightning bolts actually hit the ground until you see the damage and then it’s just insane. I’ve seen videos and stuff before ,but I’ve never seen it happen. I’m not technically scared, but I would just hate for anything else to happen." 

Volunteers with the American Red Cross were called in to assist the displaced residents. Most of the residents reportedly spent the night with family and friends. 

CFD Battalion Chief Nate Middlebrooks said the charring and smoke were most likely the result of a lightning strike. 


PREVIOUS STORY: Chattanooga firefighters have evacuated residents from an apartment complex on East Brainerd Road Wednesday night.

The call came in shortly after 10:00 p.m. from Hidden Creek Apartment Homes in the 7700 block.

Fire department spokesman Bruce Garner says firefighters were called to the complex for a reported fire and found smoke coming from the roof of building 13.

As a precaution, all residents in building 13 have been evacuated.

Firefighters are searching for the source of the smoke.

We do not know if lightning is a factor.

No injuries have been reported.