Covington family loses home, pet cat in house fire started by fireworks

Family struggling after fireworks destroy home

COVINGTON, Tenn. (WMC) - The family who lived in this house that burned after fireworks set it on fire not only lost their home and belongings but also their beloved cat. And now the mother has a message for the teens who set off those fireworks.

“Very scary, very, very scary because it would probably be a different story right now,” said victim Mamie Brasfield.

A very different story because Brasfield says one of the fireworks landed on her son’s bed. She and her three children were not at home when investigators say a 15-year-old and 13-year-old and possibly other teens were shooting off fireworks a week ago.

The family’s cat, Charlie Cleo, did not make it.

Brasfield says the family downsized to the rental home because she was undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.

“Just getting back on my feet. Now we are homeless,” she said.

Brasfield took photos to show the extensive damage destroying most of their belongings. The family is staying at a motel for now.

“We can’t find another place to rent because of the corona,” said Brasfield. " No one is being evicted.”

Investigators know the identities of the teenagers.

“Do these children need to go to jail, no. They need to take responsibility for their actions,” said Brasfield. “Their parents need to take responsibility for their actions.”

“They are juveniles so they are going to be charged with a curfew violation,” said Covington Police Chief Larry Lindsey.

Lindsey says the case is still under investigation, but at this point the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office says there is not enough evidence to charge the teens with anything but a curfew violation.

And Lindsey has a warning for parents after a couple of other structures caught fire because of fireworks and an incident a week ago involving a 10-year-old.

“We had a small child that blew up in his hand and he lost several of his fingers,” said Lindsey.

Lindsey says, ironically, all three fireworks tents in the city sold out. The chief says the city of Covington is now looking at an ordinance to ban fireworks.

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