Firefighters Help Save Christmas For Little Girl

Posted at 7:35 PM, Dec 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-26 20:45:03-05

A south Nashville family was left picking up the pieces after a fire forced them out of their home before Christmas.

The fire happened late Friday night in the 100 block of McCall Street. 

Patricia Cothran woke up to loud popping noises and glass breaking before realizing flames were consuming the back of her home. 

"I turned around and yelled for everybody to get out," Patricia recalled. "It was the worst thing I've ever experienced. It was just very freaky."

Everyone in the house - including Patricia's nephew, her son, and his four-year-old daughter, Mattie - escaped without harm. The family believed an electrical issue sparked the fire in the back patio room. 

The majority of the damage was contained in the back section of the house, but it is unlivable. The family was staying with one of Patricia's sons just a few blocks away. 

"I really don't know which way to go and which way to turn. You don't realize the little things that you need," Patricia told NewsChannel 5. 

Christmas was already not the same prior to the fire since this is the first year the family celebrated without Patricia's husband. He died of throat cancer in May. 

Most of their belongings were destroyed but Matt Cothran was able to salvage his father's leather jacket.

"You have nothing else left to remember him but the grave, this is something he wore with pride and that's what I'll do," Matt said. 

Surprisingly, none of the Christmas presents were damaged, thanks to the quick thinking from firefighters. In the midst of the battling the fire, crews grabbed all of the gifts and saved them from getting destroyed. 

"One of the things they first did was take the presents and put them in the back of my car," Patricia said with astonishment. "That was amazing that they did that, they really care about everybody."

As a result, Mattie spent most of her Sunday playing with her new toys that could have been lost in the fire. 

While Christmas may not be the same for the family this year, Patricia and her son are grateful no one was hurt and had another year to celebrate with family. "

"You had a constant reminder of hope, it makes you realize how good we have it on this Earth," Matt added.