Chattanooga, Tennessee – It was a very close call for a Chattanooga family when fire broke out in their home early Thursday morning. But thanks to the quick work of some Chattanooga police officers, the three adults and one child who were in the house are still alive.
The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm at 3:01 a.m. and responded to 1207 Crutchfield Street with five fire companies.
The Chattanooga Fire Department is still trying to find out what exactly happened, but Lt. Darwin Sanders with Quint 10 said the family could not get out of the house, because fire was blocking their way out the front and back doors, and all the windows were blocked by security bars.
Lt. Sanders said three Chattanooga police officers ran around the house and located the family, trapped in a back bedroom. Officer Harry Horton was the first on the scene.
“The mom had the baby held up to the bars to try and let the baby breath fresh air,” said Horton.
He tried pulling the security bars off the window, but was unsuccessful.
Sgt. Daniel Francis arrived shortly after and used a crowbar to pull off the security bars.
The baby was the first pulled to safety by Officer Caleb Brooks.
“I’ve got three boys myself and one of them is a newborn baby. I just wanted to get that baby out there and get him to safety,” said Brooks.
Officer Horton and officer Trevor Creighton then pulled two other people out of the window and away from the flames.
Fellow fire investigator and Captain Anthony Moore said there were four people inside the house at the time of the fire. An 86-year-old woman, a 24-year-old man, a 22-year-old woman and a 9-month-old infant.
All four were transported to Erlanger Medical Center and were suffering from minor to moderate smoke inhalation.
Captain Moore said the 22-year-old woman also had some significant cuts and scrapes, most likely from getting out the window. The 9-month-old also had a few cuts. The most seriously injured person was the 24-year-old man. Captain Moore said he had second and third degree burns to his hands and forearms, and the hair on his head was singed. He’ll later be transferred to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, GA.
Captain Moore said it was a good thing the police officers were there. “With the fire spreading like it was, all four of those individuals would have died within the next three or four minutes,” said Moore. “Those police officers saved their lives.”
Later in the morning firefighters discovered the family dog, hiding under a bed.
The house was considered a total loss, with damages estimated at $80,000.
Investigators still haven’t figured out what caused this fire