At first, Ryan McMillan heard a loud popping sound. Next, he heard cries for help. Then he saw the massive flames.

The sun hadn’t come up before firefighters had recovered the bodies of six people, including three children, ages 6, 12 and 13, after a Monday morning house fire in Coweta County. Five others were injured. As investigators processed the scene, loved ones responded quickly to help with the devastated family’s needs.

“They were pretty distraught,” McMillan said.

Firefighters officials were called to the home in the 1300 block of Macedonia Road just before 5 a.m. The property is about five miles north of Newnan, the county seat, and the first firetruck got there within nine minutes.

Fire crews arrived to find more than half the home engulfed in flames that were shooting through the roof, authorities said. Aerial photos from NewsChopper2 showed a charred roof that was nearly caved in. A few vehicles parked in the garage and driveway also appeared to have been scorched, with the rubble from the home’s fallen brick walls surrounding them.

Survivors and victims had all been taken from the home by 5:16 a.m., the fire department said. The deceased children were all boys, officials said, while the other victims who died were two women, ages 36 and 74, and a 74-year-old man.

Authorities have not released details about what caused the fire or identified the family. A number of officials including state arson investigators responded to the scene.

Speaking outside the charred home, neighbor Amy Meadows said she talked with one of the firefighters who helped get the survivors out, prior to them being rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital.

“(They) said it was one of the saddest things they’d seen in a while,” Meadows told the AJC. ”It hits close to home, it’s so hard. We’re only three houses down so it’s just sad.”

Some of the survivors had serious injuries, while one firefighter sustained minor injuries, authorities said.

“We woke up this morning to devastating news that our family lost everything, including loved ones, in a tragic and unimaginable house fire this morning,” family member Sydney Williams wrote in a GoFundMe campaign set up to help with funeral costs, medical bills and whatever else is needed. It had raised more than $16,400 as of Monday afternoon.

Six people, including three children, were killed and five others injured in a fire that destroyed a Newnan-area home early Monday morning.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

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Credit: Channel 2 Action News

At least some of the survivors were children, including a baby and toddler, but their ages haven’t been released.

We are trying so hard to keep up with all of the messages and phone calls. I’m sorry if we’ve missed anyone. As of...

Posted by Sydney Jane Williams on Monday, June 17, 2024

Devastation led to action in the the small, tight-knit community. As the sun beat down relentlessly, neighbors worked to gather clothing and toiletries for the family.

“This community has come together tremendously,” said neighbor Melissa Griffin, who was among the nearby residents working to spread the word about the family’s needs.

The Coweta County Sheriff’s Office said the department is “deeply saddened by the news of the house fire that claimed the lives of several of our community members.”

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends affected by this tragic loss,” department said in a statement. “We ask that everyone please keep the victims and their loved ones in their thoughts and prayers.”