An early-morning house fire in Eastdale displaced a family of five Thursday.
According to the Chattanooga Fire Department, all five family members — three adults and two children — were able to escape the home safely and without injury after the fire broke out.
The fire started at around 3:30 a.m. Thursday in the 3700 block of Hemingway Drive. Fire crews arrived at the house at 3:51 a.m. and were able to get the flames under control in "approximately 30 minutes," according to a statement from the department. Crews also conducted multiple searches of the home to ensure no one else was inside the residence and to verify that the fire had not spread to other areas.
The fire first began as a car fire in the driveway of the home and quickly spread to the residence. The statement said the blaze caused significant damage to the garage and kitchen, and that heavy smoke damage was reported in all areas of the home.
"There is heavy damage in parts of the home and smoke damage throughout the entire residence. There were no injuries," the fire department said in a statement. "The exact cause of the fire is under investigation."
As of Thursday afternoon, the investigation was still ongoing.
The American Red Cross is assisting the family. The organization frequently assists with relief and recovery after a disaster and said that it responds to 27% more home fires a month in winter than in warmer seasons. While the cause of the Eastdale fire is still unknown, the organization urges all homeowners to test their fire alarms before the cold weather sets in as a precautionary measure.
"Home fires upend lives every day, causing heartbreak and destroying everything that makes four walls into a home," said Red Cross Disaster Cycle Services Vice President Jennifer Pipa. "As the threat gets worse with the onset of colder temperatures, help keep your family safe by testing your smoke alarms and practicing your two-minute fire escape drill."
Those who cannot afford to purchase smoke alarms or who are physically unable to install one may be eligible for assistance from the local Red Cross. Due to COVID-19 safety guidelines, smoke alarm installations are limited.
Contact the American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee at (423) 265-3455 for more information about smoke alarms or if you need assistance after a disaster.
Contact Kelcey Caulder at kcaulder@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6327. Follow her on Twitter @kelceycaulder.