WHITE HOUSE, Tenn. (WTVF) – When Bobby Robinson looks at the remains of his home in White House, he doesn’t see what he’s lost; instead, he sees what he still has.
Saturday evening, while he was at a friend’s house, he received a call.
“My friend across the way said to me, ‘Hey, we have to go, your house is on fire.’ And I thought, ‘obviously, this is a joke,'” Robinson said . He immediately thought of his wife and his two children still at home.
“There are so many circumstances that had to happen perfectly for my family to escape,” Robinson said.
Fortunately, his worst nightmare never came true. He returned home to find the three alive and unharmed.
“That’s the first thing my wife said was, ‘Derek saved our lives, Derek saved our lives,'” Robinson said.
On the other side of the fence, neighbor Derek Hales was up late when he noticed a light outside his window. It was the Robinsons’ house on fire.
“I never imagined fire would go through a house so fast,” Hales said, “and it shakes you to the core; it absolutely does.”
He ran, knocking on the door to get the family out. Robinson’s wife and daughter fell asleep in the living room watching television. Her son chose to sleep in the next guest room.
“There’s a chain of events that have to happen, and each of them only has a certain probability,” Robinson said. “When you get to the end, I mean, it’s absolutely unbelievable that he was awake, that he saw it, that my family was sleeping downstairs, that he saw it when He did it.”
“It’s surreal what you’ve been through, and just the trauma of what they’ve been through. And I have two little ones, and they always sleep in my bed with me because I’m terrified if something like that happens. was producing,” Hales said. “They’re sleeping upstairs. I’m not sure I can get to them that quickly because of how quickly the fire swept through the house.”
Today, all that remains of his home are mostly ashes, but thanks to the help of a neighbour, Robinson says he has everything that matters.
“If Derek hadn’t seen what happened,” he said, “it would be a whole different story we’d be talking about right now.”