Six people homeless after fatal house fire - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Six people homeless after fatal house fire

Firefighters say they worked quickly to put out the fire that, they say, started in the back. Firefighters say they worked quickly to put out the fire that, they say, started in the back.
Catherine Tadem lived in the house with her son and was home when the fire started. Catherine Tadem lived in the house with her son and was home when the fire started.
Family members say they tried to save Leroy David, 60, from the burning building. Family members say they tried to save Leroy David, 60, from the burning building.

(WMC-TV) - A man was found dead inside a burning home on Morehead Street in North Memphis, according to the Memphis Fire Department. Three adults and three children are now homeless after the afternoon fire.

Family members say they tried to save Leroy Davis, 60, from the burning building. Catherine Tadem lived in the house with her son and was home when the fire started.

"I went back there to check on him ... I thought he was asleep because he was still laying down there in the bed, and I came back up in the room and sit. I heard him calling me to tell me to come get him. When I went back to see what he want, there was so much smoke coming from back there I couldn't get back there," she said.

Firefighters say they worked quickly to put out the fire that, they say, started in the back.

Family and friends arrived in front of the house comforting each other. The 60-year-old man was loved by many.

"He was a good person, and anything he could do for you he could do it. He was a good church member and everything. He'd do anything for anybody," said church friend Gerry Matthews.

Davis' mother says he did have a space heater, although firefighters are still trying to determine the cause of the fire.

MFD Director Alvin Benson says firefighters arrived on the scene four minutes after the call went out Friday afternoon. Benson also says there were no brownouts, which is a way to cut overtime by temporarily putting a truck out of service if too many firefighters call in sick.

"If you don't have enough firefighters to respond at a given time, it just takes that much longer to get to an emergency," said Benson.

Despite several fires this week and brownouts most of the week, Benson says fire response times have been less than six minutes. Also, he has no evidence brownouts were a factor in response times.

The fire department is operating at bare bones and anymore cuts would be devastating, according to Benson. City council members are talking possible cuts in next year's budget.

Meanwhile Davis' church community is surrounding the family and helping them find a place to stay.

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