Fire displaces family of 6

Fire displaces family of 6

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A South Memphis family is homeless after fire destroyed their house.

Rena Johnson awoke to panic this morning when her phone rang.

"First I just thought I lost my family. I just jumped up, my boyfriend jumped up. I'm five months pregnant. He was trying to get me to calm down. It wasn't working," Johnson said. "I just shot here, just trying to see what's going on. Came to make sure everyone got out okay."

The fire sparked just before 1 a.m. Tuesday in the 200 block of West Utah Avenue between McLemore Avenue and South Parkway.

Four adults and two children were asleep when, according to fire investigators, an electrical issue sparked the blaze.

MLGW crews on the scene said gas to the house was cut weeks ago. The family did not have heat and were using space heaters all over the house.

There isn't much left to salvage inside the home, but everyone made it outside safely.

The children's father died a few years ago. Johnson said the young boy is autistic.

"He don't know any better. He's been here all his life," Johnson said.

The American Red Cross is assisting the family and will provide a temporary place for them to stay warm, but they hope one day they can rebuild and come back home.

The family sat in a cold van with blankets to stay warm until Johnson could give them a ride to a motel.

"They've lost everything," Johnson said.

According to family members, the kids need shoes and clothes.

The woman wears size 24 pants and size 3X shirts.

The man wears size 40 pants and size 3X shirts.

The son wears size 50 or 52 pants and size 4 or 5X shirts.

The daughter wears woman's size 16 to 18 clothes.

If you would like to help the family, call Stacie Johnson at 901-825-0802 or email her at

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