Christmas tree fire displaces Athens family of 6 - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Christmas tree fire displaces Athens family of 6

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ATHENS, TN (WRCB) -  A Christmas tree went up in flames, causing an Athens home to burn. The family of six, who nearly lost everything, is trying to cope. Four children now have no Christmas presents.

Firefighters say a lamp near the family's Christmas tree started the fire. No one was home when it happened.

"I just kinda sat there and cried," said Julia Henderson.

Henderson and her family won't be home for Christmas this year. They'll be staying at her parent's house. It's the only place Julia, her husband and four kids have to go after their house burned earlier this week.

She says several gifts were already wrapped under the tree for her two teenagers, nine-year-old, and two-month old daughter.

"It's always a struggle to buy Christmas, you know, with four kids," said Henderson.

On Tuesday afternoon, Henderson said she was out doing some last-minute Christmas shopping with her mom when she got a call her house was on fire.

By the time she got there, the fire was already put out. The melted artificial tree still sits out front.

"Everything just went up in smoke," Julia said.

The family was able to salvage a few things. But what the fire didn't destroy, what's left was heavily damaged by water and smoke.

The family was looking forward to celebrating the baby's first Christmas at their home. But that Christmas wish won't come true.

"It was kind of special. She is mine and my husband's only one together. So we had planned on making a lot of memories this year,"

If you'd like to help out, the family's needs along with their clothing sizes are listed below:

Boy, 15: jeans size 48-50, 3x shirts, size 12 shoes and socks. Likes WWE wrestling and video games.
Girl,12: juniors size 6 pants, lg/xl shirts, size 8 1/2 in women's shoes. Likes makeup, jewelry, My Life dolls from Walmart, art sets, music, clothing.
Girl, 9: size 14/16 in girls pants, med/lg shirts, size 6 shoes. Likes Monster High Dolls, One Direction, jewelry, puzzles, board games, dolls.
Girl, 2 months: 3-6 months clothing, size 1-2 shoes, and size 1 diapers.
Mom: jeans size 13/14, shirts are lg/xl, size 8 1/2 shoes.
Dad: jeans size 34x34, xl shirts, size 11 shoes

People may contact the grandmother, Loretta Swafford, to make donations to the family and call (423) 453-5576. Donations may also be dropped off at Athens Free Saints True Holiness Church.

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