Community comes together to help fire victim who helps others - WSMV Channel 4

Community comes together to help fire victim who helps others

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A south Nashville woman lost her home and many of her belongings to a fast-moving fire Wednesday morning, but now the community is coming together to help the woman who always puts others first.

Loretta Formosa, 71, was only away from her Glenpark Drive house for 14 minutes, but she returned to see it in flames.

Jessica Golden and her son arrived at her grandmother's home to save everyone who was asleep inside.

"I shut the door and told my mom," said Formosa's great-grandson Christopher Golden. "[It was] flamey and smokey."

"I beat on this widow first and just went down and beat on all three windows," said granddaughter Jessica Golden.

At the time, six people were in the home, including an infant.

Golden says some got out through the front door, but others had to go out through a window.

"They handed the baby out the window. Then, my mother-in-law, we pulled her out of the window," Golden said.

For the past 50 years, Formosa, or 'Mama Formosa' as many in the community fondly call her, welcomed family, friends, neighbors or anyone in need of a warm place to stay.

"She always takes in anyone that don't have anywhere to go. She's just always been like everybody's mother," said daughter Karla Wiser. "Anybody in Nashville knows who Mama Formosa is."

The ruthless fire destroyed nearly everything in its path. But all day and into the night, many hands came to Mama Formosa's aid to repay all her years of kindness.

At one point, some 50 people pitched in to clean up the rubble of a place so many have called home.

"She is such a good person and she would do anything for anybody. That's why it hurts so much," Wiser said.

The American Red Cross is providing assistance to the nine people who were living in the home.

Family members say Formosa doesn't have homeowner's insurance.

If you want to contribute to a fund to help Formosa, visit: http://www.gofundme.com/87t6r0

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