Reported By Chris Bundgaard, Reporter - bio | email
Joyce Callis, 56, left, with husband Mike Callis.
JOELTON, Tenn. -
A 56-year-old woman died after her home caught fire early Tuesday morning near the Davidson-Cheatham County line.
The fire broke out just after 4 a.m. in the 2100 block of Bracey Circle off Old Charlotte Pike.
When fire officials arrived, the home, a doublewide trailer, was fully engulfed in flames. The roof collapsed and most walls burnt to the ground.
Family members identified the victim as Joyce Callis.
Officials told Nashville's News 2 her husband escaped and attempted to save his wife.
Callis, who was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident in 2008, was found dead in the bedroom by firefighters.
Her husband Mike was taken to Ashland City Medical Center with first degree burns and chest pains, but was treated and released.
Callis, the youngest of seven children, would've celebrated her 57th birthday on July 17.
Her sister, Betty Felts, told Nashville's News 2 Callis was a "quadriplegic, with only the use of a finger, but she was an inspiration to all."
She said her sister "would use that little finger" to make her motorized wheelchair "go up and down" the road in front of her home.
"Now she's walkin' and dancin' in a better place," added the victim's grieving sister. "She was my little sister, but I know she's now with our parents."
Felts said her youngest sibling was known to "just about everybody" because she used to work in a grocery store in nearby Joelton.
After the Callis' family gathered in a prayer circle, all of them planned to wait until their relative's body was removed from the home.
The slowly left the scene after investigators took the body of Joyce Callis to the medical examiner's office in Nashville which is customary in all fire deaths.
In a statement released to media outlets, the victims family said in part, "Joyce
grew up in Bordeaux but lived in Joelton TN since the early 1980's. Joyce was
well known in the city of Joelton, TN and we are thankful for all those who
have shown her love and reached out to her over the years after her accident in
2008 which left her paralyzed. Joyce's presence, smile and laughter will be
missed greatly by her family. Her strength in the midst of all opposition
will always be a great inspiration to all who knew her. Joyce had no
enemies. Joyce loved everybody."
The family statement went on to say, "We
pray for her husband Mike and his family. We grieve but yet we can
rejoice even in this tragedy today, for our sister has met Jesus face to face, ... She never complained about her circumstance, she always
laughed and prayed,"
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
According to officials with the Pleasant View Volunteer Fire Department, the home was not protected by fire sprinklers and it is unknown if there were working smoke alarms inside.