Crews Battle Large Commercial Structure Fire in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Sunday, January 29, 2006 - The Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to the 7900 block of Old Lee Highway on a possible structure fire. Several 911 callers reported smoke and flames coming from the roof of the A-1 Glove Company. Within minutes several Tri-Community fire units were on the scene including Battalion Chief Thomas Cook.

Chief Cook immediately identified that the building was located inside Chattanooga's Fire District.

Chief Cook swiftly started assigning crews. One of his first concerns was to establish a water supply.

This was an extremely large fire and it was going to require a large amount of water. Another one of his concerns was man power and equipment, he immediately called for a full response from the City of Chattanooga Fire Department.

In addition to Tri-Communities fire equipment, the request from the City of Chattanooga brought additional engines and Quints from as far away as Hixson.

Crews were able to establish several major water supplies from a couple of fire hydrants one of which was located at the corner of Jenkins Road and Bonny Oaks Drive, almost a mile away.

The first City of Chattanooga Fire unit to arrive on the scene with Tri-Community was City of Chattanooga Quint #8. They quickly took up a position on the "D" side of the structure.

Crews hooked a supply hose from Tri-Community engine 1254 to Quint #8 to feed it's master stream on the top of the ladder.

Several other aerials and quints were also used for there master streams to dump a large amount of water on the fire at one time in an effort to bring the blaze under control.

This was neither an easy or a quick operation. It took almost two hours to finally gain the upper hand on the raging inferno. Unfortunately a nearby trailer was also destroyed by the fire, but the occupants were able to get out without injury.

For more than two hours dark black smoke could be seen billowing from the large commercial structure by people miles away.

Luckily there was nobody inside when the fire broke out and there were no reports of any injuries. At one point a woman did believe her husband might be inside but that was quickly determine to not be true.

The fire was believed to have cause over an estimated $1 million dollars in damages. A cause of the fire is still under investigation.