published Monday, January 30th, 2012

Fires damage 2 East Ridge houses

East Ridge police say arson was the cause of a fire that broke out early Sunday at this home at the intersection of Bennett and John Ross roads in East Ridge. 
Photo by Kevin Hardy
East Ridge police say arson was the cause of a fire that broke out early Sunday at this home at the intersection of Bennett and John Ross roads in East Ridge. Photo by Kevin Hardy

East Ridge firefighters battled two residential fires Sunday, one of which police believe was caused by arson.

East Ridge police officers noticed smoke shortly after 1 a.m. at a two-story home at 3900 Bennett Road at the intersection with John Ross Road.

Fire crews were able to contain the fire quickly, which left an estimated $10,000 in damage, said East Ridge Police Chief Eddie Phillips. Phillips said the home, which has a for sale sign on the front lawn, was vacant and unoccupied. Police have opened a criminal investigation into the blaze.

Anyone with information is asked to call East Ridge police at 622-1725 or the confidential tip line at 867-0016.

Later in the day, firefighters responded to a separate fire at 3619 Ida Belle Lane that was believed to be an accident. All the occupants had gotten out when crews arrived about 2:30 p.m. Phillips said fire crews started an "aggressive interior attack" on the fire to save as much of the home as possible.

About a third of the $130,000 home had major damage, Phillips said. The amount of damage is estimated to be at least $40,000.

Fire investigators determined that the fire was electrical in nature, though an investigation is ongoing.

The American Red Cross responded to the home to aid the residents.

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