Fire leaves Bradley County family homeless - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Fire leaves Bradley County family homeless

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MCDONALD, BRADLEY COUNTY (WRCB)  -- A fire has left a Bradley County family homeless.  Adam and Pamela Childs' Parks Road home went up in flames Wednesday night, destroying everything but the clothes on their backs.

"There's barely anything left," says Spencer Childs. 

It's hard for a 12-year-old to fully understand the loss that comes from a devastating house fire, but Spencer does know that dwelling on it won't help.   

"I'll move on," he says, and yet as he walks through the wreckage his eyes can't help but drift toward his bedroom.

"I had a very soft bed," says Spencer.  Childs' bed, clothes and everything else inside the home are now gone.   

"There's mostly nothing left of my house," Childs says.  

Wednesday was such a beautiful day, after finishing some household chores, including the laundry, Spencer's mother decided to meet him at his school bus stop.

The family was out to dinner, when a neighbor called with the news.   

"The dryer was on," Childs says.  "I believe that's what started it." 

Bradley County Fire officials say the fire will likely be ruled an accident. By the time firefighters arrived, the 2,000 square foot home was fully engulfed in flames, forcing them to work late into the night to get the fire under control.

"I guess we're just gonna move on and build back," says Spencer Childs. 

Something else that might come easier to a 12-year-old is the ability to let go of what's gone.

Luckily Pamela Childs just happened to put their dogs in the yard that afternoon.  All of the family's pets survived, and as Spencer Childs puts it, "the rest is just stuff." 

"Nobody got hurt, not even the dogs," he says.  "We have ten dogs, that's amazing." 

Firefighters estimate the dollar loss around $170,000. The Red Cross is assisting the family with hotel vouchers, as they figure out where they'll live temporarily.

Investigators say the blaze could have been prevented and believe it started in the dryer, which was left running while the family went out for dinner.

Firefighters say it's never a good idea to leave a dryer running unattended. 

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