UPDATE: More than a dozen RVs were destroyed by Friday evening’s fire at Camping World.
According to a technician who works at the facility, the employees working in the structures that were destroyed by the fire had left and locked up at about 6 p.m. A short time later, the fire was detected by surveillance cameras at Camping World.
It is the technician’s opinion that the fire may have been caused by a malfunctioning air-conditioning system in one of the RVs inside the structure. The technician said that the chemicals used in the units are highly flammable.
The technician said that fire investigators will most likely be at Camping World on Monday to conduct their inquiries.
East Ridge Fire Chief Mike Williams said late Saturday morning that he had no additional information regarding the fire to share with the public.
Billowing black smoke could be seen for miles early Friday evening, as a fire damaged an RV dealership and repair facility on Ringgold Road.
Firefighters were dispatched to Camping World at 6728 Ringgold Road at about 6:20 p.m. on a structure fire. The intensity of the fire and its proximity to retail fireworks stores on the commercial street most likely prompted a call for mutual aid.
East Ridge firefighters deployed two ladder trucks from the middle of Ringgold Road to pound water on a structure fronting the street which Fire Chief Mike Williams said was a building used to repair recreational vehicles. Officials said no injuries were reported in the fire.
The mutual aid call brought in firefighters from Chattanooga, Bradley County, Tri-Community, Catoosa County, and Rossville fire departments.
Ringgold Road east of Interstate 75 was completely shut down to allow emergency personnel and firefighters to stage on the busy roadway just after rush hour.
East Ridge News Online will update this story when more information is available.