Chattanooga firefighters rushed to the scene of a fire at the Valleybrook Townhomes shortly before 9 a.m. Friday morning. The fire was at 6403 Brookmead Circle, in which five townhomes were involved.
Captain Richard Britt with Quint 19 said the first firefighters to arrive on the scene grabbed hand-held hoselines and worked to get the fire out. Other firefighters quickly went to the other four townhome units to make sure everyone was outside. Captain Britt said all of the residents had already safely made it outside, but they informed the firefighters that one woman who lived in the unit on the far side of the five-unit complex might still be inside.
Lt. Kenny Fairchild with Engine 22 had to force his way into the townhome. After finding no one downstairs, he went upstairs to find a woman watching closed-caption television. Neighbors said she was totally deaf. Lt. Fairchild informed the woman about the fire and asked her to leave for her own safety.
The firefighters got the fire out quickly and it never had a chance to threaten the adjacent townhomes. Battalion Chief Bob Dixon said the fire was mostly contained to a utility room, but the fire did penetrate into an exterior wall and caused extensive smoke damage to the rest of the two-story home. The dollar loss was estimated at $50,000. No injuries were reported.
The cause of the fire appears to be accidental. Captain Anthony Moore with the Fire Investigation Division said the fire was most likely started by an electrical malfunction in the utility room.
Captain Anthony Moore with the Fire Investigation Division (left) and Captain Scott McCullough with Quint 16 examine the damage after the fire was extinguished.