CONYERS, Ga. - The mother of four children killed in a fire started by a sibling says scars from burns she received are a painful reminder of her loss.
"My heart is broken and it won't bring my babies back. I"m just glad that some people tried to help me with this tragedy," said Reeba Glass.
The 28-year-old mother spoke to Channel 2's Tom Regan before a Rockdale County Commission meeting, paying tribute to two young neighbors who attempted to rescue the children.
Firefighters arrived at the family's duplex home in Conyers the night of Jan. 8 to find the structure engulfed in fire and smoke. Glass and her mother were asleep when the fire began in a hallway. Glass grabbed her 6-year-old and dropped him to safety out of a second-floor window. She said it was impossible to rescue her four other children, ages 8 months to 9 years old.
"I just remember grabbing and trying to do what I could do, before I started feeling like I was going to pass out," said Glass.
Both adults escaped. Two neighbors, who are brothers, tried to rescue the children but the fire and smoke prevented them from getting inside.
"I grabbed the kid who survived, and started going back with water, but smoke was already choking everyone outside. My brother tried to bust out the window, but it couldn't happen," said neighbor Richard Slater.
An investigation concluded the fire was started by the surviving 6-year-old who was playing with a lighter and set a basket of clothes on fire. Glass said she is trying to comfort her son by telling him his brothers and sisters are in heaven.
"He's fine. He's dealing with it. He's doing OK," said Glass.
Glass said she appreciates all the prayers and support she has received from the community.
"I could not write enough thank-you cards," said Glass.
Authorities decided not to file charges against the 6-year-old. He is receiving treatment and counseling from the state Department of Family and Childrens' Services.