Strawberry Plains family loses everything in fire

Strawberry Plains family loses everything in fire

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The Tench family had their home on Day Drive in Strawberry Plains destroyed on Sunday. But as they pick up the pieces, they've had several insurance hurdles to deal with. The Tench family had their home on Day Drive in Strawberry Plains destroyed on Sunday. But as they pick up the pieces, they've had several insurance hurdles to deal with.
"We stood there for 5 hours watching our house and everything we worked our whole life for burning," said Marcheeta Tench. "We stood there for 5 hours watching our house and everything we worked our whole life for burning," said Marcheeta Tench.
Her three dogs, who she calls her babies were killed in the fire. Also taken, was everything she had to remember her late son Jayme by. Her three dogs, who she calls her babies were killed in the fire. Also taken, was everything she had to remember her late son Jayme by.

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A Strawberry Plains family is dealing with losing their home and everything they own in a fire. The Tench family had their home on Day Drive in Strawberry Plains destroyed on Sunday. But as they pick up the pieces, they've had several insurance hurdles to deal with.

"We stood there for 5 hours watching our house and everything we worked our whole life for burning," said Marcheeta Tench. The chimney is the only thing left of her log home after it was hit by a bolt of lightning during a daytime storm.  

She and her husband were stuck in Sevier County tourist traffic when the flames began, the Tenchs rushed home as fast as they could.

"There was nothing left of my house in an hour. The fire chief came up to and asked us what the house was made of. I said wood. He said I've never seen a house go from three floors to nothing in less than an hour, " Tench said, with tears in her eyes.

Her three dogs, who she calls her babies were killed in the fire. Also taken, was everything she had to remember her late son Jayme by.

He died of a cardiac arrest at 18.

"I knew that not only did I not have my son anymore. But not a shirt, or a picture. I had nothing left, along with my babies," she said.

The trauma of losing everything she had was bad enough. But to add to that, their insurance company has been slow to cut them a check to deal with the loss. Red Cross helped them out for a few days. Wilderness at the Smokies offered to put them up for a few more.

"For some reason there's been a lag for this family. That's not our role. That's their role to deal with the insurance agency. Unfortunately these situations do happen," explained Lori Marsh with Red Cross.

For Marcheeta, starting over means taking one day, and one need, at a time.

"I've never not had what I need to survive and lead a daily life. Like the other night, I was chilly and needed a jacket. I didn't even have a jacket I could put on," Tench said.

The community is working on putting together some fundraisers for the family. An account for the Tench family has been set up at BB&T Bank. You can also mail checks to P.O. Box: 1711, Pigeon Forge, TN 37868.

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