Memphis, Tenn. — A Memphis family spoke about the explosion and fire that destroyed their home Tuesday night, sending fire crews to East Memphis to battle a fire that was ignited after a car drove into the house and struck a gas line.
Memphis Police said it happened after a hit and run accident.
There were no injuries as a result of the fire.
Shaken and exhausted, Maria Miranda-Reyes and Luis Jimenez spoke exclusively with FOX13 Wednesday morning about the fire and explosion that destroyed their home near Perkins and Chuck at S. Perkins and Chuck Ave.
Police said a car drove into the home just before 8 p.m. Tuesday after it was hit by a car that kept on going. As a result, it hit a gas line that ignited a fire and explosion.
“It’s very painful. Very painful,” said Maria Miranda-Reyes, speaking through a translator.
The family had just seconds to get out after the car struck their home.
Miranda-Reyes and Jimenez have eight children between them—ages 4, 10, two 8 year olds, 13, 14 and 17–though seven were home at the time.
They escaped with just the clothes on their back.
“I started crying and (Luis Jimenez) fell in the grass. I grabbed him and got him up,” said Miranda-Reyes.
The driver that hit their home was cited for multiple violations, according to a Memphis police spokesman, including not having a drivers license and failure to yield.
Miranda-Reyes recalled bystanders stepping in to pull that driver from the wreck before the fire.
The car that drove off was a gold or tan sedan with damage, the spokesman said.
The family had lived at the home for three years. They spoke after they said they got just one hour of sleep, staying in a hotel paid for by Native Roofing and Restoration, the company contracted to rebuild their home.
Abraham Arnau, a representative of the company, translated the interview.
The family looks to draw closer while relying on relatives, for now, to help them.
“I feel really sad. I have no idea what to do,” Miranda-Reyes said.
The family was aided by the Red Cross, but they they are asking that clothing donations be brought to Native Roofing and Restoration at 2835 S. Mendenhall.
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