Community rallying around teacher who lost everything in fire - WSMV Channel 4

Community rallying around teacher who lost everything in fire

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A lot of times, a teacher never knows the impact they have unless something terrible happens. Something terrible happened to a teacher at MLK, but the response has been beautiful.

It was a terrible fire; lots of flames and smoke. Paul Bass lived only because a burning ember landed on his hand.

"When I looked over and saw the flames spilling down the wall, I just said, 'Get out!'" he said.

That was Tuesday morning. Bass, who is a science teacher and wrestling coach at MLK Magnet School, woke up with nothing ... or so it seemed.

As word got out that Bass lost everything, students just started giving.

"Some teachers have that 'it factor' and they create that bond with students. Every student, I think, has a memory of certain teachers, and he's one of those teachers that you create a bond with," said Lauren Baes, an MLK grad and athletic trainer.

"He would take the one day off that he had from wrestling and drive the school bus for the swim team to go two hours away for a swim team event," said Batia Karabel, class of 2000. "He puts his students first all the time."

Coach Bass never just coached wrestling, he coached all the students. And every day was game day.

Now he is finding out through the most terrible circumstances the value of a life of giving.

"I haven't been online to talk with anyone because the computer is burned up, my phone and everything. I had no idea what was going on except what people have told me. I'm still shocked," he said.

Click here to learn how to donate to Coach Bass.

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