Community raises money for military veteran after house burns do - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Community raises money for military veteran after house burns down

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SODDY DAISY, TN (WRCB) - The community is rallying around a local military veteran who lost just about everything in a house fire.

"I think it was eight degrees that night, so everything was frozen. I couldn't get any water on the fire, and made the decision to get out of the house," said Kyle Byrne.

A charred army uniform and some melted boots are some of what's not quite considered "salvaged" from Byrne's house fire on Thrasher Pike in Soddy Daisy a couple weeks ago.

Byrne, a military vet, said he had just lit the charcoal grill to make dinner that night with a new electrical lighter.

"It's supposed to be 'no flame.' So, safer in theory," Byrne smiled.

But minutes later, the back porch was on fire -- and spreading quickly.

"While I was deployed we had a couple vehicle fires," Byrne said. "So I knew it was an electrical fire pretty much as soon as i smelled it."

After just starting to move into the house that week, Byrne hadn't yet signed up for renter's insurance.

Now the community is helping him get back on his feet.

"It's awkward being on the other side of the fighting line, I guess," he laughed.

Byrne's sister set up a crowdfunding website, which has raised over $2,000 in the last week.

"I'm not a huge fan of things like that, and so we kind of had a couple arguments," Byrne said sheepishly. "But it's pretty incredible, though."

It's a nice reminder for someone who's used to helping others during times of disaster.

"You don't realize how many people are really there to help out when you need it," he said.

"It's overwhelming."

To visit the donation website, click here.

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