published Monday, December 19th, 2011

56-year-old man dies while trying to put out kitchen fire in Chattanooga

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1501 E. 13th St.
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A Chattanooga man died of smoke inhalation while trying to put out a grease fire Sunday afternoon, fire officials say.

Fred Wyatt Jr., 56, died while being transported to the hospital, according to Chattanooga Fire Department spokesman Bruce Garner.

Firefighters received the call at 4:30 p.m. Sunday and responded to 1501 E. 13th St. with five fire companies, said Garner.

Upon arrival, the firefighters were able to extinguish the relatively small fire with a portable fire extinguisher, Garner said.

Fire Capt. Randy Steele said one adult male and two small children were placed inside one of the fire trucks to get them out of the cold. Another adult male, Wyatt, said he preferred to sit on the front porch.

Fire investigators later found out that Wyatt attempted to put the grease fire out before getting out of the house.

All the other occupants told firefighters that they were OK, but Wyatt — who was hooked up to an oxygen bottle — looked as though he was struggling to breathe, so Steele asked for him to be examined by paramedics with Hamilton County EMS, said Garner.

As the paramedics attempted to move Wyatt off the porch, he collapsed. Paramedics administered CPR to the victim on the way to Erlanger hospital, but Wyatt did not survive, Garner said.

This morning, Hamilton County Medical Examiner Dr. Frank King said Wyatt “died of apparent smoke inhalation, pending a toxicological report.”

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