Neighbors Discuss Tannerite Explosions and Home Damage


Yesterday, a Soddy Daisy couple appeared before the Hamilton County Commission to ask if anything could be done about neighborhood explosions by someone using Tannerite.

“I never had heard the word Tannarite. I said, ‘That sounded like dynamite! Sounds like someone’s blowing dynamite off!’ It was that loud,” said Hamilton County Commissioner Randy Fairbanks.

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County commissioner Randy Fairbanks was one of the first to call Sheriff’s deputies after the explosions that rocked his home, a couple of hundred yards from where they were being set off in this neighborhood.

“Somebody’s shooting some stuff, and they said we’ve had another call and they said so we’re coming out to check it out,” said Commissioner Fairbanks.

Deputies came out and talked with the man at 10,100 Rolling Wind Drive. They found out the substance was legal to detonate in the state.
Neighbors say the man who asked not to be identified….did it twice…the first was a gender reveal party last September–the second on July 4th.

Steve Langley wants it stopped. He told the county commission…and us…. that his home had been damaged.

“The house shaking, cracked this window here, and Window World had to come out and replace it,” said Steve Langley.

Langley’s neighbor Susanne Hayes is taking care of her Vietnam veteran husband who has cancer and is under hospice care.

“He said, ‘Is the, are we, is the Vietnam war going on? Are we still in the war?’ So, you know, he had flashbacks – so like I said, it was a scary time,” said Mrs. Hayes.

“When the explosion takes place, the shock waves are coming right down the side of the hill, right at our homes. And, my neighbors across the street, uh, I think the people across the street had some dishes damaged where they fell off and different things, so we are suffering damage to our homes,” said Langley.

Langley contacted representative Robin Smith who said today that she is looking into the legal use of Tannerite and may bring it up in the legislature.

Sheriff Jim Hammond told the commission it’s something that’s going to become a widespread problem if something isn’t done.

The exploding target material can be purchased legally in sporting goods stores.

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Ashley is a lifetime Chattanooga area resident, and a 1987 graduate from UTC, with a BA in communications. While there, he was commissioned through the ROTC program, served simultaneously in the 1/181st field artillery Tn. Army National Guard, finished Airborne school, was a member of the Scabbard and Blade military honor society and ROTC Rangers, the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, played snare drum with the UTC Marching band, and played in a southern rock band called Southern Atmosphere, while working a full time job as a trainer at the Sports Barn. He also won the Southeastern United States teenage bodybuilding competition during this time. Ashley has been with News 12 Now for 21 years. Prior to working here he was a videographer, director, producer and editor at Falcon Cable TV in Dalton, Ga. for 6 years where he produced thousands of commercials and dozens of hour long features. He also worked as a freelancer and employee at another network affiliate in Chattanooga. He has operated a part time video production business from home for 25 years. He says his passion is telling stories that feature people who give of themselves to help others, and stories that inspire people to make positive changes in themselves and their communities. Ashley is ecstatically married to Debbie Henderson, and has two step sons, a daughter in law, a sister, and lots of aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews. His parents are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year. Ashley and Debbie are active members of Brainerd Baptist Church. His interests include weight training and cycling with his wife, photography, poetry, playing drums, and checking off items from his extensive honey-do list. If you would like to reach Ashley, email him at