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The CFD's Investigations Division has made an arrest in connection with a recent house fire. Van Keith III, 43, of Chattanooga, has been charged with aggravated arson stemming from a fire at a home on Allin Street. He is accused of setting a fire in the residential structure, which was occupied at the time. He then fled the scene while the house was burning. Investigators quickly identified Keith as the suspect and he was arrested. He is also charged with aggravated assault. On June 3, 2022, firefighters were called to a home in the 2100 block of Allin Street off Dodson Avenue at 5:45 AM. They found smoke coming from the windows, as well as the front and back door of the residence. Crews initiated an offensive attack and got the fire out quickly. There was damage to the kitchen and front living area and smoke damage throughout the home. Neighbors called 911 to report the fire. One injured woman was transported to the hospital from the scene.

keith mug

The Chattanooga Fire Department responded to an explosion from an underground transformer at Broad Street and Aquarium Way Tuesday night, causing power outages downtown. Firefighters were called to the 200 block of Broad Street at 8:17 PM. Flames and sparks were coming out of the ground through grates. Because it was electrical in nature, firefighters used several dry chemical extinguishers to suppress the fire until the power was cut to the transformers. Once power was cut, more dry chemical extinguishers were used to fully extinguish the fire. Then water was used to cool everything down so that EPB could assess the damage. As a result of this incident, power was cut to a significant area around where this occurred. There was no other damage or injuries. This impacted traffic lights so the public was asked to avoid the area if possible. EPB had to wait for the transformer to cool off to start working on it. Crews worked as quickly as possible to address this matter, working through the night and into Wednesday morning to restore power.

EPB Statement Tuesday night:

* Parts of downtown Chattanooga in the blocks surrounding Broad Street and Aquarium Way are without power and fiber optic services following a fire in an underground electrical vault that was first reported after 8 pm on Tuesday.

* The Fire Department reports that the fire has been extinguished, but initial assessments indicate that the vault may not be cool enough to allow EPB to begin repair work on the damaged vault until tomorrow morning (Wednesday, June 15).

* EPB crews are on the scene to ensure safety. They have already begun work at undamaged electrical vaults that will contribute to more rapid restoration once the damaged vault is accessible.

* About 500 customers are impacted by the outages. EPB is notifying these customers and will provide them with more information as repairs progress.

* EPB does not currently have any information about the cause of the fire.transformer

Chattanooga firefighters worked through a number of challenges to fight a Lookout Valley house fire Monday, sparking a multi-agency response that spanned several hours. Hamilton County 911 received calls that a home was on fire in the 1600 block of Cash Canyon Road at 10:49 AM. Smoke from the blaze could be seen as far away as Hixson by responding units. Quint 1 arrived and saw heavy flames blowing out of the front and both sides of the structure. Thankfully, all of the residents got out safely with no injuries. Crews started attacking the fire and were told that a pet was still inside. The dog was quickly located, but it’s believed other pets perished in the fire. Because the closest hydrant was nearly half a mile away, a water shuttle system was established to bring tankers to the scene to supply water to fight the fire. There was not enough space for normal draft tank operations due to how narrow the roads are in this area. As a result, the CFD, Walker County, Dade County and Tri-Community tankers took turns transporting water to the scene. A second alarm was called for additional personnel. Firefighters were rotated frequently due to high heat to give them time to rehydrate and rest. They were shuttled to the scene using UTVs and a passenger van in an effort to keep roadways clear for the tankers. Crews continuing monitoring hot spots once the fire was under control, remaining on the scene for several hours. The home is a total loss. The residents indicated that they were cooking and the fire was started by grease on the stove. Two adults will be receiving assistance from the American Red Cross. One firefighter was transported to the hospital with a heat-related injury. Thanks to all of the Green Shift crews who responded to this call and to all of our Tri-State Mutual Aid partners who not only helped fight the fire, but also provided coverage at our fire halls.

lookout valley house firr

The Chattanooga Fire Department worked a three-alarm fire at a local landmark. Companies were called to the old Highland Park Baptist Church Friday night (6/10/22) at 7:13 PM after a passerby spotted smoke and notified 911. The property is now part of the Redemption to the Nations Church campus. It is located at the corner of Union Ave and South Orchard Knob Avenue. Crews from Station 5 saw the smoke from the fire hall as they were leaving and found heavy, black smoke coming from all four sides of the building, as well as the roof, on arrival. A second and then third alarm was called due to the conditions and size of the structure, bringing additional personnel to the scene. Firefighters made entry multiple times to locate the fire and flames were found in several locations between the first and third floor. Officials from the church advised that the vacant building was structurally unsafe. At that time, everyone was evacuated and defensive firefighting operations got underway. Ladder trucks were placed on all sides of the building for elevated master streams to contain the fire to the building of origin and protect adjacent structures. Twenty one of the CFD’s 26 companies have been on this scene- more than 100 personnel. The cause of this blaze will be under investigation. A “shelter in place” was issued for residents living within five blocks of 1906 Bailey Avenue due to the smoke hazard caused by the fire. They were asked to stay inside and close all of their windows and doors. By 2 AM Saturday morning, the fire was contained and the “shelter in place” was lifted. The Phillips Chapel and Chauncey-Goode Auditorium were heavily damaged and parts of the structures were torn down so that firefighters could put out flames in multiple locations on multiple floors. We want to thank our Tri-State Mutual Aid Association partners from across the region for filling in at our fire halls and answering calls while the CFD worked this major incident. There are no known injuries at this time. In addition to our Blue Shift personnel on the scene and members of our command staff, the following agencies also responded: Hamilton County 911’s Incident Dispatch Unit, Hamilton County EMS, CPD, Public Works, Tennessee American Water, CFD’s Fleet Division, CFD’s Investigations Division, CFD Special Operations, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Rescue’s Rehab Unit, Chattanooga Land Development Office, city building inspectors and the Hamilton County Office of Emergency Management.

Saturday update:

The fire at the old Highland Park Baptist Church is out. The CFD is still on the scene working with contractors to make sure that impacted areas and remaining walls are secure and stable to protect the public’s safety. Roads immediately surrounding the church will remain closed for the time being. The CFD’s Investigations Division, ATF and TBI are all involved in the ongoing investigation into the cause of the fire. The church and contractors have indicated that they are going to do what they can to save the bell tower and stained glass windows.


The CFD responded to a commercial fire in Downtown Chattanooga at a local foundry that makes brake drums. Blue Shift companies were called to 2660 Sidney Street at 1:18 PM Wednesday. The business reported that their baghouse was on fire. That collects the dust from the rest of the plant and it’s connected to the plant by ductwork. Firefighters spotted light smoke on arrival and found a smoldering fire in the top section of the bag hopper. They deployed an aerial device and handlines to extinguish the fire. They had to flood the area with water from the top to cool the hopper and the material inside of it, so they were at the business for some time. Squad 1, Ladder 1, Quint 1, Quint 14, Ladder 5, Engine 5, Squad 20, Battalion 1 and Battalion 2 responded.

Sidney Street fire

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