MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — There’s not much left of the place Murfreesboro Police Officer Mona Thomas has called home for the last 16 years.

“[I] brought my first granddaughter home to this house,” she said. “My daughter was born in this house.”

On Thursday, May 4, Thomas was at a doctor’s appointment when she got the call that her garage was on fire.

“When I got here, it was fully involved, and it was not just the garage,” she recalled. “It was the whole house.”

As members of the Murfreesboro Fire Rescue Department (MFRD) battled the blaze, all Thomas could think about was her pets inside.

“Collectively, we had a goldfish, a hedgehog, a rabbit, four dogs, a bearded dragon, a leopard gecko,” she said.

Even though the firefighters were reportedly able to save every single animal, the blaze caused major damage to the structure, leaving Thomas and her family without a home.

“People are saying, ‘Oh the devil sure is busy,’ but I’ve been telling people, ‘I prefer to look at it as the cleansing fire of the Lord,'” she explained. “It’s been a lot happening and He wipes things out to give you new things, and so that’s what I’m focused on — just rebirth, if you will.”

Nevertheless, the community has already stepped up to help the officer, who has more than two decades of experience in law enforcement. Her friend launched a GoFundMe that’s already raised over $25,000.

“I mean, we were still standing out here and they were still hosing down the house, and they were, like, ‘We’re going to do a GoFundMe,'” Thomas recalled. “I was, like, ‘People aren’t going to donate to that, just don’t do that,’ but it’s been tremendous.”

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While it’s hard, Thomas said she’ll continue to remain positive as she works to start over.

“It’s a great loss, but those are just things, and we can make new memories and we can have new things,” she said. “And life is going to go on, and we’re going to grow from this and be better.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by MFRD Fire Marshal Office investigators. 

If you would like to donate to the GoFundMe for Thomas, follow this link.