published Monday, March 21st, 2011

Grill called source of East Ridge fire


East Ridge fire officials think a propane barbecue grill was responsible for a fire that heavily damaged a house Sunday.

Firefighters were called to 3505 Cathy Lane shortly after 5 p.m. and found a lot of fire and smoke in the house, spokesman Erik Hopkins said in a news release.

The homeowner, his wife and three children already had gotten out of the house, and firefighters quickly controlled the blaze.

Police officers also moved neighbors who reported hearing an explosion when the fire erupted.

The homeowner told East Ridge fire/arson investigators he had been grilling on the deck and noticed the flame was larger than normal. He said he turned the grill off and doused the flames with water, then went inside. An explosion and fire came a few minutes later.

Hopkins said investigators believe the propane valve didn’t shut and gas continued to flow out until it was ignited by one of several possible sources.

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