Chattanooga Duplex fire ruled suspicious

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (WDEF) – A fire inside a duplex in the 4600 block of Kemp Drive has now been deemed suspicious.

Next door neighbor, Torrick Watkins told News 12 he was asleep when the fire started, but says he got a rude awakening just before firefighters arrived.

“I heard a loud noise at the front so I ran to the front and someone was knocking on my door saying there was fire in the back so once they told me, I ran to the back and I looked outside and there was a big flame with dark smoke,” Watkins said
“When firefighters arrived, they found heavy smoke and fire coming out of one of the windows the right side of the duplex. the firefighters made their way inside with a handheld hose line and knocked the fire out very quickly,” said Chattanooga Fire Department Spokesperson Bruce Garner.

Before fire crews could extinguish the flames, they had to first find the nearest fire hydrant which was several blocks away. multiple crews had to manually connect  what looked like an endless line of hoses to each other just to deliver water onto the flames.

“The firefighters had to lay extra supply line from hydrant all the way over here; maybe a quarter of mile or so to actually get water to the firefighters to fight the fire in the duplex,” Garner said

Watkins told News 12, it was very concerning to learn his home and other homes on his block were far away from the nearest fire hydrant.
“It’s very alarming because it can be a fire anytime here and knowing that you have to go so far to even get to one fire hydrant is very alarming and I hope the city can do something about it,” Watkins said.

No one was inside the duplex at the time of the fire and according to investigators, damages have been contained to one apartment.

Cause of the fire remains suspicious because investigators don’t believe it was the result of an accident.



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