published Friday, April 25th, 2014

Chattanooga firefighters save several downtown businesses

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    With the fire out, Chattanooga firefighters begin putting away their gear. Photo by Bruce Garner.

Quick work by Chattanooga firefighters saved several businesses in downtown Chattanooga last night, according to a news release from the Chattanooga Fire Department.

A pedestrian walking down the street saw smoke and flames coming from the two-story commercial structure and flagged someone down to call 911. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm at 9:42 p.m. and responded to 400 E. Main Street with six fire companies. Four of the fire companies came from Station 1 on E. Main Street, about one block away.

Battalion Chief Lesley Morgan said the fire was located on the second floor of the structure. Chattanooga firefighters carried in hand-held hoselines and aggressively attacked the fire. Chief Morgan said the firefighters were able to get the blaze under control in roughly 15 minutes. Parts of the of the building had some smoke and water damage, but most of the building was spared any fire damage. No injuries were reported.

Several businesses were threatened by the fire, all located on the first floor. The businesses include Chattanooga Engineering Group, Mountain City Construction, Chattanooga Real Estate Consultants, Inspire Chiropractic, Chattanooga Presents and Brent Sanders Art. The second floor appeared to be unused or in the process of renovation.

Employees and friends with Brent Sanders Art and Chattanooga Presents initially tried to get some of the artwork out of the building on their own. The firefighters kept them at bay until they were sure the fire was completely out. After that, some of the firefighters helped them carry the artwork out across the street. Other firefighters spread tarps over office equipment and furniture in the other businesses to protect them from water damage.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Chattanooga police and Hamilton County EMS also provided assistance on the scene.

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