Affidavit: 2 people charged with arson after leaving scene of Chattanooga apartment fire

Police have arrested and charged Hunter Watts and Autumn Nichols with arson after a fire broke out at a Chattanooga apartment complex last week. (Images: Hamilton Co. Sheriff's Office, WTVC)

Police have arrested and charged two people with arson after a fire broke out at a Chattanooga apartment complex last week.

On Wednesday, March 6, Chattanooga firefighters responded to Marina Pointe Apartments on Lake Resort Drive, where heavy smoke was coming from a second-floor apartment.

Crews were able to keep the damage contained to the apartment unit, and put the fire out in about 10 minutes. No one was hurt, but four people were displaced.

According to an affidavit, officers found in plain view baggies throughout the apartment of what appeared to be marijuana and an unknown substance on a lid in the back bedroom. Chattanooga Police's Narcotics Division was dispatched to the scene to collect evidence.

The report also says a witness saw the two residents of the unit run from the apartment, and drive off in a car.

Officers interviewed one suspect, Hunter Watts, who said the fire was accidental and caused by a lamp electrical cord and an aerosol can.

According to the affidavit, Watts said he'd been with Autumn Nichols at the time of the fire and they'd left without letting anyone else know.

Hunter Watts and Autumn Nichols were arrested and charged with aggravated arson, reckless burning, and reckless endangerment.

Watts and Nichols have been booked into Hamilton County Jail, each on $70,000 bond.

This is a developing story - depend on us to update you as we learn more.

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