NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — At least nine people across the Volunteer State — including several in Middle Tennessee — have died in house fires over the course of December, leaving their loved ones in despair.
On Thursday, Dec. 29, the Nashville Fire Department responded to a fatal fire in a Hermitage neighborhood. As the sound of first responders working filled the air, it was the tears that steadily flowed that stood out the most.
“I come home, and the house is gone,” said Regina Haskins, as she looked at the aftermath of the fire.
Fire officials were called to the home shortly after 11:15 a.m. on Cortez Court. At the time, multiple people were inside the home, including 78-year-old Mary Lou Bissinger.
“Them boys tried to get her out, and they couldn’t get her out, it was too much smoke,” said Christopher Gilliland, Bissinger’s son. “I could only imagine what them boys was trying to do when that house was on fire, trying to get their Granny up out of that house. I can only imagine what they was doing or what they’re going through now.”
Bissinger is described as a loving mother, grandmother and friend.
“She was a very good woman. Very outgoing, loving, she would do anything for you. She would do anything for her kids, her grandkids,” said Haskins.
The cause of the Hermitage fire remains under investigation.
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In addition to Bissinger, at least eight other people have died in fatal house fires across Tennessee this month.
About 15 hours before the Hermitage house fire, crews in Maury County were called to Fly Road, where a person was trapped inside a burning home.
According to the Maury County Fire Department, first responders did everything they could to help, but the victim was found dead. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is working to determine the cause of the fire.
Over in Cumberland County, investigators are still looking into a fire that claimed the lives of six people — including four adults and two children — on Monday, Dec. 26.
Several weeks before that, out in West Tennessee, one person was found dead inside a Covington home after a Dec. 3 blaze.
Prior to any first responders arriving, neighbors told News 2’s sister station, WREG, that one of them called the fire in while another one rushed into the home trying to save a person who was trapped. However, their efforts were unsuccessful.
In addition to the fatal house fires listed above, there was also a deadly blaze at Feels Like Home Senior Lifestyle Residences — a nursing home in a Memphis neighborhood — that killed a 72-year-old man and injured two other seniors Thursday night.