Neighbor describes scene at 35th Street house fire - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Neighbor: 'It's not a fire; it's a tragedy'

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Gay Gillard Gay Gillard

A family and neighbors are heartbroken after two children died in a house fire on 35th Street.

The fire started at about 2 a.m. Thursday. Savannah Fire and Emergency Services say a space heater sparked the fire that quickly spread, destroying the inside and causing part of the roof to cave in.

Three children and their mother Melinda were able to escape the burning home. Mikey, 5, and Leeky, 6, were killed in the blaze. Their five dogs also did not survive.

Neighbors who are trying to cope were teary-eyed on Thursday.

"I started screaming. I needed help bad. I just couldn't do what I wanted to do was save them. I couldn't save them. I am hurt because I couldn't save them," said Gay Gillard, a neighbor.

Gillard described the hectic scene Thursday morning as she and her neighbors tried to rescue two boys from a burning home.

"All heard is the mom screaming, 'Help me get my kids out. Help me get my kids out.' All I could do is try to get her kids out. It was too hot to get in to save them," she said.  

They tried getting in through the windows covered with plastic, but the bars kept them out.

"My brother tried to pull it but it was too hot to pull, so he busted the top window, so we started to scream their names, but they didn't answer. We couldn't get in there so we tried to go through the front with the water. Trying to do anything we could ," she said.

They even tried using a garden hose.

"I think that played a part all this is the cold weather. That's what played a part in this massacre we couldn't get any water. My little hose didn't do anything. We tried my hose, but [it was] just a little sprinkle. I wish we could have gotten those kids out, she said.

Now a community is mourning the loss of two boys they desperately tried to save.

"It's not a fire it's a tragedy. This is not a fire to me, someone I love is gone and it's going to hurt me for the rest of my life.

The American Red Cross is helping the family. To donate, contact the Gods Temple of Praise at 1907 Burroughs St. at 912.349.1927.

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