Cleveland family starting over after house fire - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Cleveland family starting over after house fire

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A Cleveland family is starting over after a fire ripped through their home over the weekend. A man was asleep inside when the fire broke out on Forest Drive. He managed to escape, but the family has nothing left.

Around four o'clock Saturday morning fire spread through Christina and Eric Pearce's home.
"He does have health issues and it's hard for him to walk," says their niece, Brooklyn Sewell.

Christina was out of town. But the two family dogs, Cocoa and Latte, made sure to wake Eric up and alert him to the fire.
"He fell a couple of times on the way out but the dog kept leading him out of the house," says Christina's sister, Jennifer Clark.

While the family is thankful for the dogs' actions, they are now focused on helping their loved ones start over.
"You don't know what you need until you're reaching for it and it's not there. And that's a hard way to live and we don't normally live that way so we don't think that way," says Clark.

The couple lived in the home for more than 20 years, raising their three daughters there.
"They do have some insurance. Insurance doesn't cover everything and it sure can't replace everything. And it can't help with every need they have," says Clark.

 "The hardest part is just watching your family suffer. What are they going to wear? What are they going to sleep in?"

The couple's niece, Brooklyn, has spearheaded fundraising efforts with a donation site to help her aunt and uncle.
"Christina is my twin sister and one of my best friends in the world. It's very hard. She is probably the most giving person I've ever met," says Clark.

Jennifer says she is determined to help Christina and Eric get back on their feet.
"They haven't asked for anything from anyone so we've stepped forward and we're trying to get help for them."

For more on how you can help, click here.

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