Chattanooga firefighters responded with six fire companies to the scene.
The first arriving company made an investigation to the apartment and did not see anything out of the ordinary from outside the structure.
Firefighters from Engine 8 made a quick decision to force entry into the room, where they encountered heavy smoke and a woman lying unconscious on the floor.
The firefighters quickly removed the woman from the room and extinguished the smoldering fire.
The victim was taken by Hamilton County EMS to Erlanger Medical center for treatment of smoke inhalation. Firefighters later said that her injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.
Captain Andrew Waters with the Fire Investigation Division has ruled the cause of the fire accidental.
Captain Waters said the woman was burning papers in a plastic trash container when the fire got out of control.
The woman called 911 and tried to put the fire out herself with water, but the smoke was too intense and she passed out.
Chief Boatwright said the woman most likely would not have survived if the firefighters had not forced their way in and carried her out to safety. “This is a good example of what not to do with a fire,” said Chief Boatwright. “Don’t try to put the fire out yourself. Just get out and call 911. We’ve got the right equipment and we’ll put the fire out for you.”
The dollar loss was estimated to be around $2,000 to the room.