"I truly can't imagine that": Neighbors react to Hixson apartment fire

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Carly Patterson was coming home from dinner to the Steeplechase Apartment Homes when she and her husbands saw the units across from her had been absolutely charred.

"We weren't sure if it was our home," Patterson said. "There was just fire and police everywhere and we didn't know what had happened."

The Chattanooga fire department says the fire started because a resident was grilling on a second floor balcony. The grill caught fire, and it quickly spread to the apartment and attic, leaving smoke and water damage behind.

"When we saw it wasn't our home we were relieved," Patterson said.

Patterson had every reason to be relieved. She is five months pregnant and was pleased to know the supplies she and her husband recently accumulated for their future child were left unharmed.

"My initial thought was when we weren't sure what building was affected was we've bought a few things for him." She said. "And I just thought, now what if we lost those things, what if we lost those plans we had for him?"

Her relief then turned to remorse.

"We were sad to see it was some of our neighbors, and concerned to see, you know, was somebody hurt?"

The Chattanooga Police Department says no tenants were hurt. As of this morning, the two firefighters who suffered heat related injuries while working the fire have been released from the hospital and are recovering at home.

NewsChannel 9 visited the Steeplechase Apartment Homes's management this afternoon to get information on how the affected residents will be taken care of and when repairs on the units will begin. They tell us they cannot provide a comment until the official investigation is over.

The Red Cross says they have assisted 5 families who were displaced as a result of the fire. They are currently in nearby hotels. We have asked to see if any of the families will speak with us about how they’re doing.

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

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