CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE (WDEF)- An apartment fire at Hamilton Pointe displaced dozens of families tonight.
We talked to a resident who got out of his apartment just before the whole building engulfed in flames.
Reignald Hemphill says, “One of my boys said, ‘Daddy do you smell smoke?’ and I said ‘Yeah I smell it, where is it coming from.?”‘
Hemphill was enjoying his Saturday evening with his sons when the flames began.
He immediately got him and his boys out of his apartment.
When he got outside, he saw the smoke coming out of his neighbors unit and sprang into action.
Reignald Hemphill says, “and I just kept knocking and nobody never did come so I finally kicked the door in and once I kicked the door in, it was just so much smoke that I couldn’t get in to try to save the dogs or anything. So we had to abandon the complex. I got my boys out safe and we just went on down the road and just watched the fire burn.”
According to Chattanooga fire, they believe that the fire started in one of the lower apartments and the blaze quickly spread throughout the building.
One of the residents was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.
The Chattanooga fire department is pleased that no lives were lost this evening.
Lindsey Rogers, the Chattanooga Fire Department PIO says, “It’s a Saturday afternoon, it’s a Saturday night/ People are enjoying their weekend, their relaxing, they’re watching football, they’re hanging out, they’re doing whatever they want to do on a Saturday. So the fact that everyone was able to get out alive, the fact that we were able to keep this from spreading to other apartment buildings in this complex is a very big factor tonight..”
Reginald and dozens of others are left without any of their belongings.
Hemphill says,”It feels bad because everything that I had in that apartment, that’s what I had. I just got what I have on my possession right now.”
3 dogs died in the blaze tonight.
32 residents and 4 dogs are receiving help from the Red Cross.
There were a total of 16 units damaged in the fire and fire investigators will work through the night to find out the cause.