LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) — It was frightening moments for a family in Lebanon after they say they were hit by an arsonist. The Fite family woke in the early morning hours Sunday to what sounded like a series of explosions to find several of their cars in flames.
“It was so lit up out here, the flames was everywhere,” Bishop Belita McMurry-Fite told News 2.
Asleep on the couch, McMurry-Fite believes it was God that woke her around 1 a.m. Sunday.
“Whatever was out here was exploding everywhere,” she explained.
The flames were just feet from her son’s bedroom window.
“My son was in the room there,” she pointed. “He was just right over the fire, and we think the smoke was getting ready to consume him.”
The family of four praised God that they made it out safely.
“It was all because I was blessed to be in the living room, fell asleep on my couch, God woke me in time to be able to get my family out of the home.”
The majority of the flames came from a car that McMurry-Fite says the family hasn’t driven in about six months.
“It wasn’t driven so therefore it could not have been anything electrical that took place,” she explained.
The family has lived in the home for nearly two decades and has never had issues before, but they fear the damage was started at the hands of an arsonist.
“Very scary, it is very scary especially when you don’t know who did this or why the situation came forth. Who knows the reason this would happen? Who knows the reason why someone would do it.”
And the incident has led to worrisome thoughts within the community.
“It’s shaken me, it’s Shaken our church, it’s shaken this neighborhood. It’s shaken this city and it’s beyond this city. I’ve gotten so many calls globally pertaining to this incident since it happened,” she said.
While Fite is concerned, angry and hurt, she is also forgiving.
“If someone has done this and we do believe so, I would say I do forgive you but I know that you need Jesus in your life. I know you need some type of help to go around hurting people.”
In total, five vehicles were damaged in the driveway, including their church van. A part of the home was also damaged.
Officials with the Lebanon Fire Department tell News 2 they have closed their investigation, saying the car was too damaged to determine a cause. However, if anyone has any information on the case, they are asked to call them at (615) 443-2903.