Early morning fire leaves an Orange Mound family homeless - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Early morning fire leaves an Orange Mound family homeless

Orange Mound house fire Orange Mound house fire

(WMC-TV) – A Memphis family lost nearly everything Wednesday morning when fire broke out in their Orange Mound home.

Anita Smith and her three children were back at their home on Radford Road hours later, trying to make sense of what happened.

"I was in shock," Champreia Smith said. "I thought I was dreaming at first, when I first woke up."

Around 3:00 a.m. Wednesday, dozens of fire fighters battled the a blaze that destroyed the home the family of five lived in.

"About the time we came out the house, the fire had reached the doorway, so we couldn't go back in the house, and I just fell to the ground and started crying," said Larry Prewitt, who lived in the home.

Prewitt was not able to save the family's dog, Boosie.

"He didn't bark or nothing 'cause we were trying to put out the fire, but when I got out here I heard him crying and I realized I had left him in the cage," Prewitt said.

With only his cage and food dish left, the family buried Boosie in a make-shift grave.

Authorities believe the fire was caused by a space heater placed too closely to a bid. Meanwhile, family members believe faulty wiring is to blame.

"Sometimes when I come over and the space heaters are plugged up, something might go dim in the back, and something might come back on in the front that you have to unplug," said Chyneka Dandridge, a friend of the family. "To me, it wasn't just the space heater. I think it was a wiring problem."

Dandridge said Smith recently lost her job, and watching her not lose her home - just before the holidays - is overwhelming.

"If there's anybody that can help her with employment, help her with her children or help her find a place to stay, this is the time to show what Memphis is really about.

The Red Cross is assisting the family.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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