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02-10-17 Firefighters Battle 2-Alarm Blaze on MLK Blvd

The initial alarm was received at 1:01 a.m., and six fire companies were dispatched to a commercial fire at 500 E. Martin Luther King Boulevard. The first firefighters on the scene said smoke and flames were visible all around the old 2-story brick building. Captain Dale Dodd with Engine 12 said his firefighters entered the structure from the rear while other firefighters forced their way in through the front door. The firefighters conducted a quick primary and secondary search, but did not find anyone inside.

When the fire broke through the roof, Battalion Chief Ashley May, the incident commander, ordered all of the firefighters out of the building, and called for a 2-alarm to bring in six additional fire companies. There was some initial concern that the fire might threaten the Douglas Heights apartment building that houses UTC students. Though firefighters were there to keep the fire away from Douglas Heights, smoke was getting inside the building. Chief May asked Chattanooga police to check on that building and see if they could close the outside vents. Once that was accomplished, the students were asked to shelter in place.

Meantime firefighters with 12 fire companies surrounded the building on fire, using hand-held hoselines and master streams from several aerials overhead. It took more than an hour to get the blaze under control. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The building previously housed what local residents knew as the Half Note Lounge, but the owner said it's been vacant for years. The fire completely destroyed that building, but the firefighters were able to stop the fire from spreading to an adjacent building, formerly known as the Whole Note Lounge. MLK boulevard is completely shut down at the intersection with Douglas Street and will likely remain shut down through the Friday morning rush hour while firefighters finish putting out hot spots. Chattanooga police, Hamilton County EMS and Chattanooga-Hamilton County Rescue also provided assistance on the scene.

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Chattanooga, TN 37406
(423) 643-5600
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Chattanooga, TN 37406
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