House fire that trapped four people ruled an arson

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) – A fire that nearly claimed the life of four people including an infant is now being investigated as an arson.

Chattanooga fire investigators told WDEF they believe a blaze that destroyed a home in the 1200 block of Crutchfield Street actually began on the front porch. They also say there’s evidence to suggest it was not an accident.

"The cause of this fire that nearly killed four people was deliberately set. In other words, we’re saying it’s arson," said Chattanooga Fire Department Spokesperson Bruce Garner.

The fire erupted last Thursday morning. A family of four survived the inferno thanks to four Chattanooga police officers who arrived on scene before the fire department. The officers managed to disassemble security bars on one of the windows to help the family escape.

Edward Jackson, 24, suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns to his hands and arms. He was transferred to a burn center in Augusta Georgia where he was treated and released.

"It’s my understanding that he’s expected to go back to the burn center for additional treatment real soon," Garner said.

On the morning that the fire department announced to the public that the fire was an act of arson, investigators were seen walking through the neighborhood going door-to-door. They were asking neighbors if they saw or heard anything suspicious the morning of the fire.

Darrell Ball lives two doors down from where the fire erupted. He told WDEF he is worried because the person responsible is not in custody.

"I feel that it is time to keep the doors locked and porch lights and outside lights on; just to take some preventive methods against such people who are running around prowling at night," Ball said.

Investigators are not divulging more details into why they know it’s arson but say they have evidence.

Investigators are asking for help from the public. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Tennessee Arson Hotline at 1-800-762-3017.

"Somebody set that fire deliberately so we’re very interested and motivated in solving this case," Garner said.

Categories: Crime, Local News

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