Sunday, October 26, 2014 · 3:41 a.m.

Early morning fire leaves East Lake family homeless

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At approximately 3:20 a.m. Friday, fire broke out at 1013 32nd St. The occupant, Jennifer Saddler, told firefighters she awoke to find fire in the living room area. She quickly woke up the five children and three other adults in the home.

Though smoke alarms were installed at the residence, they did not alert, possibly because of a battery problem, officials said. 

Battalion Chief Lesley Morgan said everyone made it safely out before calling 911. Chattanooga police officers and Engine 9 arrived on the scene moments later, starting firefighting operations on the home that was already engulfed in flames. 

Four companies of firefighters worked to combat the flames, freezing temperatures and high winds. Capt. David Barie said three dogs were rescued by firefighters and that two cats ran from the house when the firefighters opened the door. One dog wasn't found until after the fire was extinguished, but was OK, and one cat died in the blaze.

Hamilton County EMS was on the scene to check on the residents and monitor the firefighters. EPB was called in to disconnect the power line to the house and to eliminate a potential hazard for firefighters. Morgan said the fire was contained to the front area of the house, but there is heavy smoke and water damage.

The dollar loss is estimated at $80,000 for the structure and contents. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Volunteers with the American Red Cross are providing assistance to the family. 

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