Apartment Fire Displaces 18 Chattanooga Families

Reported by: Alisha Searl
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Updated: 2/18/2013 6:26 pm

3:30 Monday morning, almost two dozen people cried out for help at the Rustic Village Apartments.

They were stranded on balconies as a fire in the hallway and stairwell areas blocked their only escape route.

Chief Randy Parker, with the Chattanooga Fire Department, adds, "There were a few of them that were elderly, had issues, that they had to be helped down."

Chief Parker, says, 12 fire companies responded.

They went to each apartment with a ladder; ultimately rescuing 20 people.

Chief Parker adds, "Fortunately, it was only a two story building and they were able to get all the people out without any difficulty."

But Chief Parker says if the balconies weren't there, he's afraid this story would have taken a tragic turn.

Hamilton County EMS only had to treat one person who had difficulty breathing.

Chief Parker adds, "When the first companies arrived on the scene, they noticed that the fire was involving the stairwell, which was leading up to the second floor."

Fire investigators are still not sure what caused the fire.

The Red Cross was brought in to help some of the 18 families that were displaced, move into a motel, that is until the stairwell can be fixed.

Unfortunately, Chief Parker says that could take about a month.

The damages are estimated at around $10,000.

The Red Cross says they are looking for more volunteers to help the families who were displaced.

If you want to donate your time or resources, call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

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