KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A mother is in mourning after her son and father died in a house fire on Mississippi Avenue in Knoxville.
“My body hurts,” said Leann Brown. “I’m still in disbelief that this happened. I’m trying to figure out how it happened. Trying to take it day by day.”
Brown was at work Monday morning when she got the call.
“My neighbor called me and just told me that my porch was on fire that I need to get home,” Brown explained. “So I’m thinking OK, just a little porch fire, nothing major.”
Minutes later, Brown realized something was terribly wrong.
Brown was forced to watch as firefighters pulled her father, 67-year-old father Mike Brown and her three-year-old son, Keith, from her home and began compressions in the front yard.
Soon after, Keith and Mike were taken to a hospital by ambulance.
“When they got to the hospital, they could still continue to do the compressions and they didn’t make it,” said Brown.
It’s been 72 hours since Brown said goodbye to her father and baby. Her home is unlivable and many of her belongings are lost. That’s why her friend, Miracle Hudson, is trying to help.
“I’m just trying to stay strong for my friend because I gotta help her,” Hudson told WATE. “That’s my best friend, that’s my sister. We’ve always had each other’s back and and this is definitely that time to have her back.”
Hudson hopes to raise enough money to help brown with funeral costs, housing and other necessities.
Even though the official cause of the fire hasn’t been released, Brown urges urging her community, especially parents, to check their smoke alarms. She believes, had hers been working, her father and son might still be alive.
“I’m pretty sure they would have woke up earlier,” said Brown.
According to the Knoxville Fire Department (KFD), firefighters did find a smoke alarm inside the home. However, it was melted and the battery appeared to be dead.
A GoFundMe account has been created to help Brown with funeral costs, housing, clothes, and other necessities. The goal is set at $5,000; you can see it here. In addition, stuffed animals, balloons, and other condolence-related gifts are being left in front of the home on Mississippi Avenue.
KFD investigators are still working to determine what caused the deadly fire. Currently, foul play is not considered a factor.