Police Briefs: Smoke blankets Chattanooga area

Police Briefs: Smoke blankets Chattanooga area

March 12th, 2012 by Staff Reports in News

Smoke blankets Chattanooga area

The noticeable pall of smoke that hung over Chattanooga on Sunday afternoon was a result of an 1,100-acre controlled burn in Georgia, authorities said.

The Georgia Forestry Commission conducted the burn in southern Walker and northern Chattooga County.

The annual burn is performed to promote ecological health, a Georgia Forestry Commission spokesman said Sunday.

Suspicious fire in East Ridge

Arson investigators are looking into the cause of a fire at a vacant house Sunday afternoon in East Ridge, according to a news release.

The fire department was called at 2:40 p.m. to 3422 Bennett Road and found a blaze in the crawl space and floor joists under the house, public safety spokesman Erik Hopkins said in the release. The fire was extinguished shortly and no injuries were reported.

The location of the fire and the fact that the house is vacant make the fire suspicious, Hopkins said.

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office reported Sunday that Richard Timothy Faires, 50, of East Ridge, was booked on an arson charge. Asked Sunday night if the arrest was connected to that day's fire, Hopkins said, "Not to my knowledge."

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to contact the East Ridge Police Department at 423-867-3718 or the confidential tip line at 423-867-0016.

Shallowford gets traffic shift

The Chattanooga traffic engineer's office has announced a new traffic pattern at the site of roundabout construction at Jenkins and Shallowford roads in East Brainerd.

Southbound Jenkins will be closed at the Shallowford intersection and drivers will be detoured west on Pinewood Drive.

Eastbound Shallowford will be closed. Westbound Shallowford will be detoured to northbound Jenkins, then left to westbound Pinewood Drive.

Northbound Jenkins and right turns to eastbound Shallowford still will be allowed.

Motorists are advised to use caution when negotiating the newly posted detour routes, according to the engineer's office news release.