5 Dead, 2 Rescued in Tenn. House Fire



Five people are dead, including two children, after a house fire Saturday in west Nashville.

Authorities said 50-year-old Tedarrel Brooks, his wife, 32-year-old wife Stephanie Brooks, and their two daughters, 8-year-old T'Derrica Brooks and 4-year-old Alexis Brooks, died during the fire. Another adult who lived in the home, 24-year-old Billy Vantrice Austin, also died during the fire. He is not related to the Brooks family.

“Everything we know now came from Piggy. Piggy told us her daddy came in that room and threw her out the window,” said Michael True.

True said his 8-year-old niece "Piggy,” whose real name is Jasmine, knows that almost everyone in her family died Saturday.

“I asked her if she was OK; she said no. She's just sad and confused. It's a lot to take in,” he said.

She will be able to see her younger brother, Tedarrel Jr., soon.

“Junior was under the bed, and the fire department found him under the bed, got him, was able to save him, so maybe from him being low, maybe that saved him, because you know the smoke rises,” True said.

True said his four nieces and nephews were asleep downstairs, while his brother, Tedarrel Brook,s and his sister-in-law, Stephanie, were upstairs when the fire started Saturday morning.

“She grabbed T'Derrica and Alexis, and she ran toward the door. They found her at the door with two kids in her arms, passed out,” True said.

The cause of the fire is unknown.

"Please take time today to check your smoke detectors," said Director Chief Stephen Halford of the Nashville Fire Department. "There were no working smoke detectors in these homes. We know that smoke detectors dramatically enhance your ability to escape from a fire, so we ask our citizens, please take time to check."

“This is tragic, something you don't prepare for,” True said.

Three of the family's pets also died in the fire.

Tedarrel Brooks, Jr., 3, is hospitalized and in critical condition. Jasmine is expected to be released from the hospital soon.

The fire broke out at about 7 a.m. at the home near the corner of 35th and Nevada avenues.


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