Update: Cause of 15th Street house fire is accidental.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Chattanooga fire officials confirm Monday evening the cause of Monday afternoon’s house fire on 15th St. gets ruled accidental.
Captain Henry McElvain with the Fire Investigation Division said the fire was most likely caused by improperly discarded cigarette butts. The only resident who was in the house at the time told Captain McElvain that she emptied some cigarette butts into a trash bag, and then put the bag in a trash can on the back porch.
Captain McElvain said that’s where the fire appears to have started. The dollar loss has been estimated at $95,000 for the building and its contents.
A fire destroyed a South East Chattanooga group home Monday afternoon. It caught fire shortly before 3 p.m.
The 911 call came in as a kitchen fire, but when firefighters arrived on scene, they found flames shooting from the Windows. Helen Ross McNabb Center owned the building. Officials tell News12 the home housed three clients and is an independent group home.
Mark Dickson of the Helen Ross McNabb Center said, “We Provide supportive living facilities for mental health clients. This one in particular was for mental health clients who lived independently, so we had a group of that were doing well and living on their own in the community.”
A scare came when center staff said they had trouble locating at least one of the residents. She was later found not to be home when the fire started.