Fire destroys family’s home in Newbern

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NEWBERN, Tenn. — A West Tennessee family lost their home and almost everything in it during a Monday morning fire caused by something they couldn’t see. Ashlea Pickard said she and her children only lived in their house on Shibley Street for three months. Firefighters said Monday a fire sparked behind the walls due to a damaged wire. With only a few items of clothing and possessions left, the Pickard family wondered where their future would take them. “My heart just stopped,” Pickard said. “I mean, it was like a moment of silence. I couldn’t believe it.” She said she’d just dropped her three children off at school and was on the way to work when her neighbor called. “He called. He told me that my house was on fire,” Pickard said. “I was in shock. I’m still in shock. So, I don’t think it’s hit me yet.” She said she doesn’t know where her family will go from here. Assistant Fire Chief Trevor Cottrell said there’s not a lot you can do to prevent an electrical fire. “One thing they could do is pay attention to where they’re hanging pictures, how long the nails they’re using, and where they’re driving them,” Cottrell said. He said this particular fire may have started earlier in the morning inside the walls with no signs for the Pickard family to pick up on. “I can’t imagine if that would’ve happened in the middle of the night, because we didn’t smell anything,” Pickard said. Despite the damage and loss, Pickard said she’s thankful her family is safe and together. To find out how to donate to help this family, contact the Dyersburg Red Cross at

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