Early Morning Apartment Fire Displaces 11 Hixson Families

Reported by: Amy Katcher
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Updated: 7/18/2013 6:42 pm
(WDEF) Scary moments in Hixson Thursday morning as an early morning apartment fire traps two people in the North River Village Apartments.
    Bruce Garner with the Chattanooga Fire Department explained, "They started yelling for help.  There were two Chattanooga firefighters nearby who grabbed a hand-held hose-line, went up to the apartment unit, knocked down the fire as much as they could, enough anyway to get the residents out safely."
     The two people managed to escape with no injuries other than minor smoke inhalation.  But the two-alarm fire displaced 11 apartment units.
     Garner added, "From what I'm told all the residents who live there, none of them had any renter's insurance.  Some do need alternate accommodations for a place to stay tonight."
     The Red Cross set up a shelter at Hixson Middle School to assist those in need.  Volunteer Casey Westra said, "We'll be here overnight.  Right now its set up as a 24-hour shelter.  And then we'll assess it after that."
     This has been a busy week for volunteers and first responders alike.  Westra added, "What is this?  Number three apartment fire.  And then of course with the flooding up in South Pittsburg so the last week and a half has been very, very busy for the Red Cross."
     Garner continued, "It's just sometimes these things run in groups, like you'll have car wrecks and things like that, suddenly you just see a rash of them and as soon as you start noticing them, they'll disappear for a little while.  I don't think we have any explanation for them."
     But luckily the first responders and volunteers stay positive since its all in the name of helping people.  Westra summed up: "That's why we do it.  You know.  And we are all volunteers and for everybody to volunteer their time to do this, it's really a good thing."
     The cause of the fire has been ruled accidental.
     It's still not know exactly what sparked the blaze.
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