CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- Chattanoogans are kicking off a benefit to support a man who survived a fatal house fire but lost everything in the process.
A community lifts up their neighbor during a time of darkness.
“About 2:30 in the morning a smoke detector went off and I rose up in my bed to a cloud of smoke” said John Adkins (due to an accident/condition Adkins must sleep in an upright position).
Adkins home on Wilcox Boulevard erupted in flames in October.
Adkins and his pets survived the house fire that morning but everything he owned was destroyed.
What hurt Adkins the most was losing his best friend and roommate Rick Marsh.
“The best friend, the best brother, the best overseer that you could ever have and with the best spirit. Rick’s spirit was the spirit of an angel.”
Friends and loved ones have started the John Christopher Adkins Relief Fund to help Adkins rebuild his life while funding a homecoming celebration for Rick Marsh.
“This is the way I see it, a penny, a nickel, a prayer -whatever a person can give and afford to give today here at these drives that they’re doing for me. It means that I can go on to tell the story. It means that I have a place to lay my head.”
Through all the devastation, Adkins says he’s been able to cope with losing his home and his best friend through his faith.
“The way I’m holding it together is because I know the Lord. I love the Lord and no one can ever take that from me. If I live my life accordingly, one day I will receive and be received in Heaven and I will see Rick again.”
The relief benefit will be held across from the Foxwood Plaza every weekend for the rest of November from 12 p.m.-2p.m.
You can also donate to the Go Fund Me page of John Christopher Adkins here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/uxwn4x-john-c-adkins-relief-fund