Smoke alarm alerts sleeping Chattanooga couple to house fire

When firefighters arrived, Garner says Captain David Peace with Quint 6 could see a fully involved garage fire, with flames spreading quickly into the house and into the attic. Image: MGN

A Chattanooga couple is alive and safe thanks to a working smoke alarm that alerted them that their home was on fire.

Chattanooga Fire Department spokesman Bruce Garner says Theodore Herndon and his wife were asleep in their upstairs bedroom when their smoke alarm activated shortly after midnight on Tuesday.

Garner says when they discovered that their home was on fire, they safely got out of the house and called 911.

The Chattanooga Fire Department responded with four fire companies to 3810 Deerfoot Drive.

When firefighters arrived, Garner says Captain David Peace with Quint 6 could see a fully involved garage fire, with flames spreading quickly into the house and into the attic.

Captain Peace said the firefighters tried an interior attack with hand-held hoselines, but when flames broke through the roof, the firefighters were ordered out of the house for their own safety.

Garner says the firefighters switched to a defensive firefighting operation as Quint 6 raised its aerial to use its master stream on the fire. After the majority of the fire was put out, the firefighters made another interior attack and finished putting the fire out.

No one was hurt.

The displaced couple said they had family and friends to stay with while their house is repaired.

An estimate on the dollar loss to the home is not yet available. In addition to the house, fire fire destroyed two cars in the garage, valued together at $87,000. A third car in the driveway had some minor damage from the radiant heat.

Garner says investigators still aren't sure what caused the fire.

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