A 30-year-old father was killed in a Clayton County house fire early Thursday after he rescued his five children from the blaze, officials said.
Neighbors called about 2:18 a.m. to report the fire at the home on Berks Road and Whitley Drive, Forest Park fire Deputy Chief Matt Jackson said.
They described a chaotic scene.
“I heard glass breaking and I thought somebody was breaking in next door,” Jacob Stewart said. “... I heard screaming from a grown man and children.”
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John Tumlin, another neighbor, saw the father, identified by family as Brandon Gamble, “handing the kids out the window.”
Tumlin said he wanted to help, but the blaze “was too hot.”
By the time firefighters arrived, which was within minutes of the initial call, there was “heavy involvement to the front of the structure,” Jackson said.
The five children and Gamble’s wife, identified as Tyeisha Gamble, 29, were outside, according to officials. The children, who are between 6 and 13 years old, were taken to Southern Regional Medical Center with cuts and scrapes. They were released from the hospital later Thursday.
“They’re good kids,” Stewart said. “Never had any problems out of those people.”
The wife was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital for smoke inhalation, and she was still there as of about 5:30 p.m.
Stewart said she was distraught.
The fire appears to have started in the living room, according to officials. Investigators are working to determine the exact cause and origin of the blaze, Jackson said.
In the meantime, neighbors are praising Brandon Gamble’s rescue efforts.
“God bless him,” Tumlin said. “He’s a hero.”