Smyrna Fire Department (SFD) personnel contained two separate structure fires on the evening of Nov. 2, according to a press release.
Crews were dispatched at 7:27 p.m. to Building A of Charleston Hall Apartments, located at 351 Sam Ridley Parkway East. Upon arrival, A-Shift personnel noted heavy smoke coming from an apartment in Building A. One occupant was present at the time of the fire and escaped unharmed. The occupant was cooking and left the items unattended; the individual had a fire extinguisher in the apartment and extinguished the flames.
Smyrna Fire Department removed smoke from the structure and used thermal imaging to determine the fire was completely extinguished.
Smyrna Fire Department’s fire investigator has determined the cause to be accidental.
At 9:43 p.m., crews were dispatched to Building D of Windsor Downs Apartments, located at 1001 Mason Tucker Drive. Personnel extinguished the fire, containing damage to one apartment. One occupant was present at the time of the fire and escaped unharmed.
The cause and origin of this fire continues to be under investigation.
“Personnel did an excellent job responding to both incidents,” shared SFD Chief Bill Culbertson. “We are grateful the occupants of both apartments escaped unharmed. This is a great opportunity to remind our citizens to remain in the kitchen while you are cooking, particularly when frying, grilling, or broiling.”
The third fire resulted in Smyrna Fire Department and Smyrna Police Department arresting a man involved in a fire overnight Nov. 4.
SFD and SPD were dispatched shortly after midnight Nov. 4 to Uptown Suites, 742 President Place. Upon arrival, B-Shift fire personnel noted heavy smoke coming from the room. SFD crews removed smoke from the area and determined the fire was completely extinguished; damage was contained to one room. One occupant, Steve Beshara, was in the room at the time of the fire and escaped.
Smyrna Fire Department’s fire investigator charged Steve Beshara, age 39 of Antioch, with aggravated arson and two counts of reckless endangerment; SPD charged him with felony possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell.
Beshara was transported to an area hospital for evaluation, discharged, and has been booked into Rutherford County Adult Detention Center. He is being held on $123,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Smyrna General Sessions Court on Nov. 9.
The State Fire Marshal's Office offers the following general home fire safety tips:
- Never leave cooking unattended or cook while drowsy or impaired.
- In the event of a grease fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. If the fire is large, just get out!
- Do not smoke while in bed or lying down. If possible, never smoke inside.
- Never smoke if medical oxygen is present!
- Ensure that electrical cords do not run under rugs, they are not frayed, and they are not the power supply for appliances.
- Always use the recommended wattage light bulb for a light fixture.
- Never leave lit candles unattended. (Consider switching to flameless!)
- Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything flammable. Ensure they are turned off when leaving the room or going to bed.