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Red Cross volunteers gave the fire victims blankets to help keep them warm in near freezing temperatures, and provided other assistance, including help with food, clothing and a temporary place to stay. Photo by Bruce Garner.

A house fire in East Lake this morning has left at least six people homeless, according to the Chattanooga Fire Department.

Authorities received the alarm at 3:12 a.m. and responded with four fire companies to 3203 14th Avenue.

Battalion Chief Chris Willmore said in a news release that the entire backside of the house was engulfed in flames. Neighbors reported hearing loud explosions. Willmore said propane tanks used for cooking likely exploded. No one was injured.

The house was considered a total loss, with damages estimated at $60,000.

Ismael Mendosa told firefighters that his son woke him to tell him the house was on fire, the release said.

Willmore said there was no evidence of a working smoke alarm in the house. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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