• 10-year-old boy, cousin die in Douglas County house fire

    By: Steve Gehlbach

    Updated:

    DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. - A family is mourning the loss of two cousins killed in a house fire in Douglas County.

    A 28-year-old woman and a 10-year-old boy died. 

    The older 13-year-old brother ran from this burning home on Boulder Park Drive and knocked on the neighbor's door.

    His little brother, "Tre" Earl was still trapped inside. Another neighbor saw the boys' grandmother outside.

    Both first tried getting in the front door, but it was blocked by the fire.

    “The door wouldn't open all the way up, the door was so tense and so hot,” said neighbor Willie Mason.
    Mason then ran to the back door and kicked it in, first crawling in on his hands and knees, but the smoke was just too much

    He had to try again.

    "So I got up and went out, get some air, put my shirt back up and went back into the house again and the fire and smoke just so intense,” Mason said.

    The neighbors told Channel 2’s Steve Gehlbach the older brother saw him, and helped get his grandmother out, but went back up the stairs into a part of the house where firefighters eventually found him and was trapped.

    “He said that the flames from the kitchen was by the stairs and it scared him. Thinking it scared him,” said neighbor Andrea Freeman.

    Two firefighters, who also suffered minor injuries, eventually found both 28-year-old Stacia Williams and Tre.

    Neighbors said Earl obsessed with playing basketball and was smart beyond his years.


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    "He's awesome, awesome,” Mason said.

    "Wise little boy. Full of love. I called him my own because he came here so much,” Freeman said. 

    Mason said he had to put his life on the line after losing two little sisters and younger brother in house fire in 1975.

    "I was only nine years old, and I couldn't save them,” Mason said.

    Forty plus years later, he lived it all over again.

    "This is bringing everything back to me, and it hurts, it hurts, OK? It hurts,” Mason said.

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