Man loses life savings as fire destroys home

House burns down after renovations
Published: Sep. 6, 2016 at 10:43 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 6, 2016 at 6:54 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Early Tuesday morning Tommie McKinney received the call no homeowner wants to hear. His house was on fire.

"It's just. It's devastating," McKinney said. "Because the house was paid for."

Since November he spent most of his life savings, about $30,000, upgrading his Parkway Village home. This included installing new wiring. Then around 6:00 a.m. Tuesday a fire burned away that hard work and money.

According to the Memphis Fire Department, an electrical problem caused the fire. The fire started in the back bedroom.

McKinney said he was on schedule to sell the home in less than two weeks.

"All of this just came out of my pocket. I don't know what's going on," McKinney said.

Kenneth Traylor lives next door. He smelled smoke. He then saw flames shooting several feet into the air. He immediately called McKinney. He was afraid the fire would spread to his home.

"I was fixing to grab my water hose," Traylor said. "That's how scared I was."

Firefighters put it out before that happened. It took them about twenty minutes. This was not the first time they had to go to McKinney's home. Last November a heating pad also caused a fire there.

"It's pretty depressing," McKinney said.

The 64-year-old is not sure if he can fix the damage. He said the house he's owned for eight years may not be insured. Luckily nobody was injured during the fire.

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