Police Officers Rescue Family from Fire

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

9-year-old Boy malnourished and physically abused

Lafayette Child Abuse Police Report: School Called DFACS 13 Times

Lafayette, Tennessee – A Lafayette woman and her son are facing charges of accused of physically abusing a nine-year-old boy.
Police say the boy’s school reached out to them for help after more than a dozen reports to Child Family Services.

Most 9-year-old boys spend their time going to school and making friends. But police say the boy living at the Pledger Parkway home, was only worried about when he would get his next meal.

“Another child that lived in the house with the victim had confided in a school official that he often times ate out of the leftover bowl or the trash because he was deprived of food,” said Captain Stacy Meeks with the Lafayette Police Department.

Police say they were contacted by the boy’s school guidance counselor earlier this year.

“They had multiple complaints on this child. There was a great concern the school had over the child’s safety and well being,” said Captain Meeks.

But that was after the report says, the school tried contacting DFACS thirteen times before since October of 2014.

“When we brought him into the police department, officers were giving him food and he was eating. He was very hungry and would kept asking for more food while he was there with us,” said Captain Meeks.

Police say when they got to the home, they found Shirley Chandler and Richard Voiveich. Along with them, nine other children living in the home. Four of them related to the family and police say, Chandler served as legal guardian to the other five children. The report says when they got there, they found the 9-year-old with multiple bruises to his back, head and face. The officer also wrote, the boy appeared malnourished.

“I think that just people thought the living situation was a bit peculiar but other than that, I don’t think anyone seen anything,” said neighbor Sandy Kilborne.

Neighbors are shocked by the news and are left wondering, did DFACS investigate the more than a dozen claims that were going on right across the street.

“It was the state that kind of fell through that so I am scared for other children around here in that same situation,” said Kilgorne.

NewsChannel9 has learned Shirley Chandler filed for custody of the 9-year-old in June of 2013.

DFACS Communications Director Sharon Boatwright sent over a statement to NewsChannel9. It reads, “I’m not able to confirm an investigation; however, I can say€“ again in general- that a report from a mandated reporter is given the highest priority. In most cases we would begin an investigation based on the information shared by the mandated reporter and then factor in any additional information shared by the mandated reporter (i.e. additional reports filed) while we are working with the family based on the initial report. This additional information would be included and used in making decisions about the case. “