Memphis family homeless again after house fire - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis family homeless again after house fire

A teen says guilt is tearing him apart after a candle in his room sparked an overnight apartment fire. A teen says guilt is tearing him apart after a candle in his room sparked an overnight apartment fire.

(WMC-TV) - A teen says guilt is tearing him apart after a candle in his room sparked an overnight apartment fire. It's the second time his family has found itself homeless, and to make matters worse, his niece was struck by a car on Christmas.

"I lit a candle and, before I knew it, I dozed off and I woke up gasping for air," said Monterrius Denson.

Firefighters battled a blaze at an apartment complex on Tillman Street Monday around 3 a.m.

"I had to get my niece and my grandma out," said Denson, 17, who woke up to a smoke-filled room.

Denson said his family had recently moved to the complex after their previous apartments were condemned, forcing them to live for a time in a hotel.

The teen said that instead of opening gifts on Christmas, his family was dealt another blow.

"My one-year-old niece got hit by a car that was parked over here," he said. "It was her dad."

Denson said his niece was taken to Le Bonheur with a fractured skull, broken ribs and punctured lungs. The one-year-old's father was taken into custody for questioning by Memphis police.

Denson said that although his family has seen its fair share of hardship over the last few years, he's not giving up his dreams of providing a better life for his family.

"After I get through with school I was trying to do something in the future that way I can help out my family because I wanted to be either a cook or an engineer," he said.

Holding on to hope, Denson said he's just trying to take life one day at a time.

"It's just been hard and it's getting even harder because I'm worried about losing my niece and now I know that I've lost my place to stay," he said.

Denson said that despite his worries, his niece is expected to survive her injuries.

He said he's currently looking for part-time work while he attends school in order to help provide for his family.

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