Chattanooga firefighters spent a hot night in East Lake on Tuesday night, battling two house fires, according to department spokesman Bruce Garner.
The first call came in just before 8 p.m. when someone reported that the house at 4307 12th Ave. was on fire. Capt. David Barie from Station 9 said the house was totally engulfed in flames when his fire company arrived on the scene.
When Barie saw that the flames were spreading to a neighboring house, he called for a second alarm response to bring in additional firefighters and equipment. The house where the fire started was already a total loss, so the firefighters worked to save the other house, Garner said.
That house was occupied by Mavis Burson, her daughter and granddaughter, and two sons. Ms. Burson said she was in the kitchen when she saw huge flames coming from the house next door. She alerted everyone in the house and they rushed to get out. The flames had already blocked one way out, so Ms.Burson said they climbed a chain-link fence to get to safety. Ms. Burson scratched up her legs in the process, but she was otherwise uninjured.
Volunteers with the American Red Cross were called in to provide assistance to the family.
The firefighters rescued a pet poodle, and a whole litter of kittens, Garner said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Chattanooga police, Hamilton County EMS and Chattanooga-Hamilton County Rescue provided valuable assistance on the scene, Garner said.