KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — An East Tennessee family is finding hope after losing everything in a house fire last week.
For the King family lately, it's seemed like if it wasn't one thing, it was another, but despite their recent hardship, they have faith that everything will work out.
From the outside of the house, everything looks the same. The walls are still standing and the siding is still white.
When Meredith King and her family got a look inside their home after it burned, they had to step back.
"But as soon as you walk in, everything is gone," King said. "Everything's covered in smoke, and you're just overwhelmed."
The soon-to-be family of five lost everything in a fire started by their dryer. The fire marshal determined the lint in the bottom of the dryer is what caused the fire.
King said she cleans the lint filter religiously and wasn't aware of the lint that accumulated inside and in the bottom of her unit.
Now, there are smoke stains where their pictures used to hang. The once white cabinets are now grey with ash. The toys are buried underneath insulation.
The family had just left their home for an event, Starry Night Knoxville, to honor their 4-year-old son, who is recovering from a brain tumor. That's when they got a call from a neighbor that their house was smoking, and the fire department was on their way.
"So, we just had to rush back here," King explained. "We didn't even get to attend."
They had just finished staying in East Tennessee Children's Hospital for the whole month of October.
"And it's just like one thing after the other, but our praying and faith in God is what's getting us through," King said.
King is also relieved she and her family weren't home when the fire broke out.
"We have a huge sense of peace and relief that God protected us, and he's going to help us build a new house," King said.
Since then, the community has stepped in to provide clothes, food and support. Even through the fire, they are standing firm in their faith.
"I just want to take this time just to glorify Him because I think in the long run He's really gonna provide a big blessing for our family," King smiled.
Firefighters saved charred Bibles from the family's mantle and tried to grab as much as they could.
Meredith King is a blogger who loves all things University of Tennessee. All of the family's Tennessee Volunteers game day items were also burnt in the fire.
HOW TO HELP:
If you want to help, there are various ways.
Digital gift cards can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
PayPal donations can be sent to email@example.com
Venmo donations can be sent to meredithking13
The family attends Providence Church, which is where a large amount of donations have been dropped off already.
The family is currently at a hotel and then, will transition to a rental house until their new home is built.
The King Family is also looking for a builder, so they can start construction on a new home.
A portion of sales from Hard Knox Pizza during the week of Nov. 18-22 will be donated to the King family.
A portion of sales from Petro's Chili and Chips will be given to the family from the business's grand opening of its Market Square location on Thursday, November 21.
“We wanted to take the chance to thank our family, friends, and entire community here in East Tennessee and all over the United States for helping us during this disaster. God protected our family from this fire and continues to protect and provide for our family! We are so blessed to have everyone help us and pray for us! We hope to start building a brand new home as soon as possible.” - Love, The King Family
TIPS FOR PREVENTING DRYER FIRES:
KFD Captain DJ Corcoran offers these tips for avoiding a dryer fire:
- Make sure you are cleaning lint out of your dryer vent every time you use it.
- Go a step further and clean out the internal vent trap in your dryer. Often times, a professional needs to do this a couple times a year. You can also buy a cleaning kit at a home improvement store.
- Also make sure to check for frayed wires and birds nests that may have been built in the outdoor unit vent.