KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Knoxville Fire Department on Monday shared an update regarding a Fountain City area fatal house fire that claimed the life of one person last week. Non-functioning smoke alarms and a heater appeared to have been factors.
According to KFD assistant chief and spokesperson Mark Wilbanks, KFD responded to the house fire at 3112 Northcrest Circle around 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 16. Firefighters were met with smoke and fire coming from the living room of the home, and they were able to knock down flames within minutes and kept the fire contained, Wilbanks said. However, after a brief search of the home, firefighters found a deceased woman inside the home as well as several deceased animals.
The woman’s identity has not yet been shared by officials.
Wilbanks said in an update Monday that the KFD Investigations Unit investigated the cause and nature of the house fire; determining the nature of it to be accidental while the cause was that of a heater being used at the time of the fire.
Investigators also found that while smoke alarms were present in the home, they were not functioning at the time of the fire.
“After a tragic event like this, we cannot stress enough the importance of working smoke alarms in your homes,” Wilbanks said. “KFD firmly believes that you should have smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.”
Smoke alarms should be tested at least once a month using the test button and replaced once they reach 10 years old, Wilbanks concluded.