Hermitage family remembers grandmother killed in house fire

A family is mourning after the loss of their loved one who died in a fire. WSMV's Michael Warrick reports.
Published: Dec. 30, 2022 at 5:42 PM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) — A fast-moving house fire ended in tragedy for a Hermitage family. They lost a beloved family member they tried to save Thursday.

Mary Lou Bissinger, 78, died in the fire on Cortez Court while visiting her family for the holidays. Her grandchildren, firefighters say, tried pulling her to safety, but the fire and smoke had already overtaken the house.

Christopher Gilliland lived in the home for seven years with his wife and kids. He’s now faced with the reality of starting over without his mother.

“Man, it’s hard to wrap my mind around it right now. It’s unbelievable,” Gilliland said. “My momma was a good-hearted woman. She loved her kids; she loved all her grandkids.”

The Nashville Fire Department is investigating what caused the fire.

“My grandma was really special to me. (She) gave me everything,” Kevin Haskins said. “I loved her so much.”

Gilliland says the Red Cross has gotten his family a hotel for a week, but he doesn’t know exactly what his family will do after that.

He is certain, though, his family will stick together through this devastating tragedy.

“Prayers is what I need man, prayers, because God is all we have in our life now,” Gilliland said. “I need my kids with me right now, and I know they need us right now.”

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family get back on their feet. If you’d like to donate, click here.