Family gets second chance after fire destroys home - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ben Watson

Family gets second chance after fire destroys home

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A Mid-South family that lost everything in a fire last week received a new beginning Thursday from a group of generous firefighters.

Thursday morning a tiny home in Raleigh, a truck pulled up loaded with furniture, appliances and lots of good will.

"That just shows you that there are more good people out there," fire victim Kim Bateman said.

Bateman should know - she and her husband lost everything when their Frayser home caught fire last week.  Their 4-year old son Jo Jo is still in the hospital, undergoing treatment for smoke inhalation.

"He's strong, but he's getting better though," she said.

Bateman said her son might have died if Memphis firefighters had not gone into the burning house and rescued Jo Jo, and now many of those same firefighters are working to help the family pick up the pieces.

The firefighters organized a donation drive with Highland Heights Presbyterian Church, and Thursday they delivered mattresses, beds and appliances to a home the family will temporarily live in.

"We're getting a lot out of it from the sense that we are seeing a family that's needs are being met, that has gone through a tragedy, and we're helping kind of restore them restore their spirit," fire department Lt. Mark Eskew said.

In a strange twist of fate - the firefighters met Bateman's family weeks earlier, when they were called to the unit next to the family's Frayser home.  It was at that time that firefighters adopted Bateman's family.  They were buying Christmas toys for the kids when the fire destroyed everything.

Now, the family's four children have a new home, furniture, and gratitude that will last a lifetime...

"I just thank 'em all, all of them, especially the firemen," Bateman said.

The family is also very grateful to Jyro Homes for renting them their new home so quickly. Firefighters took up a collection and raised enough money to help the family with rent for several months.


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