LAGRANGE, Ga. - Six firefighters are in the hospital after flames engulfed a home while they searched for people inside.
LaGrange firefighters responded to a house fire on Revis Street around 3 a.m. Monday after one of the residents called 911.
"We had one crew inside fighting fire, one crew in there doing a search, and within split second, they had a ... everything went south on them and had a flash over situation," Deputy Chief John Brant, of the LaGrange Fire Department, said. “We have two guys with second- and third-degree burns, and the other two guys were just second-degree burns.”
A flash over means everything in the home went up in flames at the same time quickly.
"We were just trapped inside and had to find a way out," Brant said.
LaGrange firefighters Joshua Williams, Pete Trujillo, Jonathan Williamson and Jordan Avera were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital after suffering severe burns.
Two others were taken to another hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation.
Channel 2’s Tyisha Fernandes spoke with the homeowner, Kenneth Lakes, who told her he got all four of his step kids and his girlfriend out of the house before firefighters arrived.
"I looked in and I could feel the heat and I knew it was severe, so I instantly grabbed the kids," Lakes said.
He said waking up the children and rushing them out was difficult.
"The kids didn’t believe it at first when we were like, 'Wake up, the house is on fire,' so I had to pull one out because he was still kind of sleep," Lakes said.
He said he is thankful to the entire fire department for risking their lives to save his family.
“The wind shifted the fire so by time they kicked in the door, the fire swooshed out and made contact with some of the firefighters,” Lakes said.
No one else was injured in the fire. Officials with the LaGrange Fire Department said the injured firefighters are in really good spirits despite all the pain.
A family friend has set up a GoFundMe to help the firefighters and their families and has been confirmed official by city officials.
The fire department says cards and donations can also be given to Dion Senn, the City of LaGrange Public Services Director. Senn will deliver the cards and donations to the firefighters on Friday.
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