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fire

The community is rallying around a Collierville family after four people were killed in a Dec. 23 fire on Autumn Winds Drive. 

The fire started just before 11 p.m. and took 20-30 minutes to contain, said Collierville Fire Chief Buddy Billings. Heavy smoke was reportedly billowing from the home when firefighters arrived. 

Kari Coudriet, 46, was killed as were three teenaged missionaries from India who were house guests. Sharron, Joy and Aaron Naik – ages 17, 15 and 14 – attended French Camp Academy in Mississippi while their parents completed missionary work in India. 

The Hindustan Times reports the siblings as Sathwika, Suhan and Jaya Naik from Telangana’s Nalgonda district. 

Their parents, Srinivas and Sujatha, are associated with Collierville Bible Church. They have made their way back to the U.S.

The church issued a statement saying, “The Coudriet family was hosting, housing, and celebrating Christmas with three teenagers attending an academy here in the states. At this time, we are asking for privacy and discretion regarding the missionary children.”

Danny Coudriet, Kari’s husband, and the couple’s 13-year-old son Cole survived by jumping from a two-story window. They were treated for smoke inhalation and other injuries and have been released from the hospital. 

“The Coudriet family is well loved in our church, community, and soccer community and there has been a lot of support for them. God’s grace through his people is evident,” the church said.

Kari’s funeral was held on Dec. 29.

According to Collierville Fire Chief Mark King, there was only one working smoke detector in the home.

The cause of the fire has not yet been released.

CBC is accepting donations for the families. To find out more about donating, go to www.colliervillebible.org/coudriet-benevolence.

A GoFundMe has also been set up. Donations may be made by visiting www.gofundme.com/help-the-coudriet-family.