FAYETTE COUNTY, Tenn. — A fire tore through an Oakland home Saturday night, leaving a family homeless just days before Christmas.
It took six minutes for firefighters to show up at the house on Cozmo Drive after the fire started around 10:30 p.m., but it was still too late.
A mother and 14-year-old boy narrowly escaped the blaze, but almost everything they owned was destroyed. The few things that weren't destroyed are serving as encouragement for them to get through the difficult time.
"It's just a horrible time to lose everything they own," friend Nick Smith said.
Smith heard Sunday morning that the family he knew well through his son's karate studio was now homeless.
"We opened up our home to this family," he said. "We hope they can soon get through this with some donations."
His wish is beginning to come true.
"Lots of people from Fayette County, Somerville, Germantown, Memphis all came out to support this family with all their basic needs," Smith said.
Those basic needs include a shoulder to lean on. After the flames died down at the house, the family was surrounded by neighbors and a local pastor, all praying together.
"It's hard to explain the feeling inside seeing so much good heart in this community," Smith said.
The family was too upset to go on camera, but they told us they're thankful for the compassion and support.
Fire officials said they are working to find out what exactly sparked the flames, but firefighters told the family it looked like an old computer battery overheated, and the clothes on top of it caught fire.
Everything inside the house was destroyed, except for a few old pictures and the family's three Bibles. They believe it’s a testament that their faith will get them through this, along with the endless love from their neighbors.