NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – With their Thanksgiving meal still on the stove, Lencoya Phelps is spending her holiday weekend sifting through soot and ashes.
“This is what we cooked on Thanksgiving before we had to run out and we couldn’t eat any of it,” Phelps told News 2 while opening her oven full of food.
She and her five children were inside when their south Nashville duplex on Coarsey Drive caught fire early Friday morning.
“It was so bad, my kids were actually hollering and screaming and running because the fire was coming up so fast.”
With flames shooting from the roof, Phelps didn’t have time to grab irreplaceable memories like her photographs.
“My kids are my priority, my kids and my animals that’s the only thing I was worried about– making sure everybody was getting out of the home,” she explained.
When Phelps returned to the house Saturday to recover what did survive the fire, she discovered three TVs had been stolen from inside.
“We lost everything, everything is gone and then somebody came in and took my TVs off the walls,” said Phelps.
She says she’s devastated that someone took advantage of the situation, but even more so that Metro officials believe the fire may have been set intentionally.
“It hurts, it hurts because I had babies in my house. I had animals in my house. They could have killed me or my children.”
The Red Cross has stepped into help the family of eight.
News 2 spoke with the man who owns the duplex. He says the family was evicted long ago, and the house was supposed to be vacant.
However, the Phelps dispute that claim, saying they had until Dec.1 to vacate the house.
Anyone who saw anything suspicious at the home on Coarsey Drive is urged contact 1-800-762-3017.