Family home destroyed after July 4 fire; fireworks suspected - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Family home destroyed after July 4 fire; fireworks suspected

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The Shelby County Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the possibility that fireworks caused a county home to go up in flames around midnight on Independence Day.

The fire happened in the 8900 block of River Pine Drive. 

The family woke up when the house caught fire and everyone got out safely. However, the family lost everything, including their vehicles. 

“My children were upstairs,” said homeowner Tim Trahan. “During the time, that’s the part when you’re shaking.”

Trahan says the damage took just minutes.

“My ex-wife had a fire 18 months ago,” he said. “They’re still dealing with trying to get that remodeled. My children were here with everything they had.”

The two damaged vehicles were a black Dodge, which belonged to Trahan's ex-wife, and his brother’s car.

“He was letting me use it to let my son learn on a car that’s not a Dodge Charger,” Trahan said.

Trahan said his ex-wife saw the smoke and called for everyone to get out. He said he knew something was really wrong by the tone in her voice.

What Trahan said is the most heartbreaking loss, however, is the family cat that died of smoke inhalation.

“That really upset the family,” Trahan said. “When we got her, she was malnourished and we nursed her back to health, and now she’s passed away.”

Trahan said his family stopped lighting their fireworks more than an hour before the fire. Neighbors say others were lighting fireworks all night.

Fireworks are illegal in Shelby County. The county code says, "The sale or use of fireworks is prohibited, except as authorized by state law."  It goes on to clarify that anyone using fireworks must have a permit to do so. 

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, even though fireworks are illegal, the fire was accidental and may be covered. However, they said some companies may try to exclude the coverage.

So far, it is inconclusive if fireworks caused the blaze.

A family member of the Cordova-Appling homeowner put up a website asking for donations

The website explains that the homeowner has three children, and they are all staying in a hotel. 

The family said it could take six months to rebuild their home.

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