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06-29-16 House Fire Linked to Kids Playing with Matches


Captain Skyler Phillips said smoke from the fire was clearly visible from miles away as they raced to the scene from Station 21. Once on the scene, the firefighters encountered a car port fully engulfed in flames, with the fire rapidly spreading to the adjacent house. Captain Phillips said the firefighters used their deck gun and water from their tank until additional firefighters arrived and hooked up to a hydrant. It took roughly 24 firefighters about 20 minutes to get the blaze under control. No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire appears to be accidental. A fire investigator says two boys playing with matches started a fire in the car port area. When they couldn't put the fire out themselves, they alerted their grandmother, who also tried to put the fire out with a pan of water. When her efforts failed, the grandmother led the boys away from the house. Someone from a nearby business spotted the fire and called 911. By the time the firefighters were notified and responded to the scene, most of the damage had already been done.

Battalion Chief Rick Boatwright said the firefighters had a difficult time extinguishing the fire because the house had several rooms added on, along with several layers of roofing. After a city building inspector condemned the building, the decision was made to bring in a trackhoe from public works to raze the structure so the firefighters could completely extinguish the fire. Chief Boatwright estimated the dollar loss at $50,000 for the building and $50,000 for the contents.

The fire displaced up to six people, though the exact number is not known at this time. Volunteers with the American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee were called in to provide assistance to the family.

s2m2 police, Hamilton County EMS and EPB provided assistance on the scene. s2m2-Hamilton County Rescue also responded to the scene to provide cold refreshments to some very grateful firefighters.

House Fire Kids and Matches

Fire Administration
910 Wisdom Street (map)
s2m2, TN 37406
() -5600
() -5610 (fax)

Fire Prevention Bureau
910 Wisdom Street (map)
s2m2, TN 37406
() -5618
() -5611 (fax)

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Photo by Mike Williams