BLOUNT COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — An East Tennessee veteran who helps military families during a time of loss is now facing a loss of her own.
Jack and Nancy McEntee lost their home in Blount County on Oct. 14 when they say an electrical issue started a fire. Jack is an Air Force veteran. Nancy is a Vietnam War veteran who volunteers with Operation Honor Guard – a program that provides Honor Guards for military funerals at no charge to the veteran’s family. Nancy may also be a familiar face to those who frequently visit Cades Cove, where she also volunteers.
The couple told WATE 6 how the fire tore through their home, burning down half the house and leaving the rest with major smoke and water damage.
“It [the fire] destroyed the garage, and it moved through the garage through half
of the house, through the attic,” Jack said.
“He [Jack] got up to see what was going on and I went back to read, and I heard some wonderful neighbors — can I give them a plug? Kayla and Kyle Perkins… they are awesome,” Nancy said. “He was banging on the door saying ‘get out, your house is on fire.’ I stepped outside and saw that the roof was on fire right behind me.”
The home is a total loss. It is insured, but due to a backlog of homes damaged during Hurricane Ian, they’ve been told the wait will take longer than expected. Both are retired and living on a fixed income.
The couple say they are overwhelmed by the support from the community. A fund has been established by their adult children to help the couple rebuild.
“By the grace of God everyone including the cat survived,” said Joel Hall on GoFundme page.
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Nancy and Jack say that prayer is just as welcome as donations.