Series of fires keep Memphis firefighters busy

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A sad start to the week for one North Memphis family, just ten days from Thanksgiving.

Their home on Palmetto Avenue was destroyed in a fire, which then spread to the house next door.

And that was just one of several fires crews battled overnight.

“Everything is gone. Everything is gone,” said the homeowner’s niece, Terri Williams.

The house has been in Williams’ family for decades.

It’s where her aunt called home for nearly 50 years.

“Sad,” she said. “Sad and hurtful.”

The fire broke out around 12:30 Monday morning, and thankfully, Williams’ aunt just happened to be awake when she heard what sounded like an explosion.

“Well she was up in the kitchen watching TV, and she heard the popping noise, and then she opened the back door up and there it was,” she said.

Williams’ aunt and her daughter, as well as their two small dogs, made it out safely.

“Everybody’s fine,” she said.

But their home, a car, and a pickup truck were destroyed.

The fire then spread to the vacant house next door on Breedlove Street — flames shooting so high they scorched tree branches hanging about 20-feet above the roof.

Neighbors watched in disbelief as dozens of firefighters worked to put it out.

A few hours later across town, crews battled another fire at the Peppertree Apartments in Whitehaven.

No one was hurt, and investigators believe an electrical malfunction caused it.

And late Sunday night, the Discount Tobacco Store on Getwell Road in East Memphis also went up in flames.

As for the home, Williams’ aunt lost, she says the memories there are what she’ll miss the most.

“Coming here, she’s cooking. She loves to cook,” she said. “Coming here, sitting here eating.”

There’s still no word from investigators what caused that house fire or the fire at Discount Tobacco.

The Red Cross is helping the family, and Williams tells WREG her aunt and cousin will be staying with family for now.

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