NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A family in Hermitage is mourning the loss of their loved one following a devastating house fire on Cortez Court Thursday. 

Mary Lou Bissinger’s grandchildren said they tried to pull her from their burning home, but she wouldn’t wake up.

Christopher Gilliland and Regina Haskins said three of their children were home at the time of the fire — the youngest being 15 years old. Bissinger, 78, was staying with her family at the home for the holidays.

Nashville Fire Department officials said they were called to the home at approximately 11:19 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 29, and arrived minutes later to find it fully engulfed in flames. 

Gilliland said his children woke to find a wall in flames and the house filled with thick black smoke, adding that they tried to pull their grandmother from the house. 

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“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 when they couldn’t get her, or what they’re going through now,” the parents explained. “They are hurting so bad because they feel guilty, they feel guilty. They shouldn’t be feeling guilty.”

Bissinger was a mother to five children and a grandmother to 13 — many of whom rushed to the scene Thursday, clearly devastated over this loss. 

“Lost my house, my mama, my everything,” Gilliland said.

“I mean, we have no home,” added Haskins. She then went on to say, “We have nothing, nothing.”

“At least we got our kids,” Gilliland pointed out.

“Yeah, that’s one thing I’m grateful for,” Haskins replied. “God’s great, but God’s going to pull us through this because he’s pulled us through so much more.”

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The family remembers Bissinger for being a kind, loving, good-hearted woman.  

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family who lost nearly everything in the house fire