Victim identified in fatal house fire
The victim was identified as Courtney Godwin, 25. According to the Hamilton County Medical Examiner’s Office, Godwin died from smoke inhalation.
The fire started shortly after 8 PM.
Cindy Smith was one of several neighbors who first saw the blaze and called 911.
"I was standing in the kitchen and I saw out the window that the house was on fire. I went out onto the back porch and I saw someone climbing out the back window," Smith said.
Authorities have identified that person who climbed out of a window as Haley Neal. She reportedly suffered from minor smoke inhalation.
The flames were so intense that it took firefighters a lot longer to make full entry into the home.
"It was so engulfed in flames that when the firefighters attempted to make their way inside the house to look for victims, they were forced back out by the intensity of the flames and the heat," said Chattanooga Fire Department Spokesman Bruce Garner.
Despite public speculation that the fire may have been caused by a meth-lab explosion, authorities were quick to suggest that may have not been the case.
"The investigators have not found anything inside the house to indicate that there were materials there for making meth," Garner said.
Cause of the fire remains under investigation.