SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Savannah Fire is describing the intense scene first responders experienced on Sunday, March 11.
More than 20 firefighters responded to a fire a Kingstown Apartments off Skidaway Road. It happened in one of the apartment buildings during the early morning hours while many residents were home in their beds.
Several residents were trapped upstairs. One woman screamed for help.
"She was a little hysterical, but that's expected, but other than that, it was fine. I coached her to the ladder and walked her down," Savannah Fire Battalion Chief Elzie Kitchen said.
Firefighters say a mother and her children had to be rescued from another unit.
"When we first kicked the door in, the lady was in shock. The children were extremely scared. She actually wanted to stay, but we told her that wasn't a possibility," Advanced Firefighter Amber Kroeck said.
Firefighters grabbed the children and led the woman downstairs, all while shielding them from the fire already spreading around the stairs.
"I remember as we were going by, the kids were getting upset because they could feel the heat. I was talking to them about being on a magic carpet ride...I was just trying to calm them down," Engine 8 Captain Michael Metivier said.
A couple of residents had to be rescued from another apartment. Firefighters say the residents were asleep and didn't know about the blaze.
A total of 14 people were displaced by the fire.
Resident, Tameka Robbins was severely burned. She was taken to the Augusta Burn Center and remains in critical condition. Her special needs daughter, Mikayla Robbins, died from her injuries. Firefighters call it a tragedy.
"We just play it over and over in our heads, 'is there anything we could have done better,' Captain Metivier said.
Firefighters say they followed the right protocol. Each truck was fully staffed with each firefighter responsible for a different task.
"If we had less than that, it would have been a much more tragic result," Captain Metivier said.
Firefighters say it's not a sense of pride that they were able to save people from the blaze. Instead, these first responders say they were just doing their jobs.
Investigators are still working to determine the cause of Sunday's fire.