LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Chaunda Lee said on a normal Christmas Day her family would be at her house all day celebrating, but because of COVID-19 she decided to visit family members this year.
Before making it back home for the night her holiday cheer turned into a nightmare.
“Physically everybody’s okay,” Lee said. “But mentally we’re tore up.”
Lee said around 10 p.m. Christmas night she received a text message from a Louisville Fire Department sergeant.
“The sergeant at the fire department said I needed to call him as soon as possible and I called him and he just asked me have I had a fight with anybody recently, argued with anybody recently, or anything and that my house caught on fire and it was a lot of damage,” Lee explained.
No one was home at the time, but next door a family was getting ready to enjoy their Christmas dinner when the flames spread.
“I heard this glass breaking and all this and by the time I walked into the dining room, I heard a boom,” Carla Taylor, Lee’s neighbor said.
Taylor said if it wasn’t for her granddaughter hearing the commotion, her family could be dead.
She added although everyone made it out of her home, she said the fire is still causing her family pain.
“A lot of people are saying I’m glad nobody was hurt but see this little girl here, she’s seven,” Taylor explained as she pointed to her great-granddaughter. “She was there and she seen it all, she hasn’t slept since it happened, she’s just traumatized.”
It was a Christmas Day of trauma and loss, something both families didn’t expect.
“I just came from being homeless, just two years ago I was homeless,” Lee added. “Me and my kids was on the streets, and then here I am, like this is messed up, this is really messed up.”
Right now, Lee said she’s staying at a hotel and is asking for the community’s help to get her back on her feet. Lee is a prominent person in protests, with a main responsibility of cooking and feeding protesters.
To make a donation, visit Lee’s GoFundMe page here.