The deaths of nine Charleston firefighters hits home for many of us, and for one Savannah woman who says her brother is a Charleston firefighter, the news hit especially hard.
Brenda Overstreet feared the worst when she found out about the Charleston tragedy. "I woke up and the TV was on," Brenda told WTOC. "That's when I heard it."
Brenda immediately panicked. Her brother, 40-year-old Glenn Baumuller, is a member of the Charleston Fire Department. "I can't even find words to describe what it did to me," she said. "I immediately grabbed the phone and tried to call him."
Glued to the news and her phone, Brenda got no answer. "I kept calling and calling. All I got was voicemail," she said.
Brenda then caught a glimpse of her brother on the national news fighting the fire and tried his phone again. "Finally around 8:00am, he answered," she said. "He said 'I'm ok, I'm ok. I wasn't in the building. I'm ok, but I have to go."
Panic switched to relief, but the channels stayed the same.
"Between CNN and WTOC, I kept switching back and forth," Brenda said. "Everytime I saw it, it got me going. Tears would well up. You just immediately think it is him. You can't explain the feeling. Things start running through your mind. I feel relieved, but you feel for the families who lost their loved ones."
All day Tuesday, Brenda and her family followed the tragedy, even spotting her brother in one of my stories.
Glenn is ok, but along his firefighting brothers, is devastated by the loss of nine of their own. Brenda says her relief is bittersweet. "Even though I didn't know these people, I understand how they are feeling because I could have been in their position," she said.
Brenda still has her little brother Glenn, but she also has a new appreciation for him and how dangerous his job can be. "He's just the best brother you could have," she said.
Glenn started his career with Southside Fire Department 16 years ago. In 2000, he moved to Charleston after a a few years in Beaufort. He has been in Charleston ever since.