published Monday, March 25th, 2013

95-year-old man killed in Chattanooga house fire identified

House fire at 3226 Van Buren Street
House fire at 3226 Van Buren Street
Bruce Garner
House fire
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A 95-year-old man died from smoke inhalation in a house fire Sunday night in Chattanooga.

Around 11 p.m. a couple at 3226 Van Buren Street heard popping noises coming from the back of the house. When they went to investigate, they saw flames on the back porch. The husband grabbed a portable fire extinguisher and attempted to put the fire out himself, but the wind-swept flames were too intense to extinguish.

The flames penetrated the kitchen area and with smoke building in the house, the woman tried to get out her elderly father, Z.M. Tussey, but was unsuccessful.

The husband and wife escaped out the front door uninjured and called 911.

Firefighters tried to make entry, but with most of the house engulfed in flames and the roof starting to collapse, the order was given for firefighters to get out.

After most of the fire was extinguished, firefighters found a body on the floor near the front door, according to a fire department news release.

This is the first fire-related fatality in Chattanooga since December 18, 2011, at 1501 E. 13th Street.

The cause of the fire is undetermined and under investigation.

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