Father of five killed in Forest Park house fire

- It was a devastating loss for a Forest Park family after five children lose their father in a house fire overnight. Firefighters said the father sacrificed himself to save his family as they escaped through a window to get to safety.

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“I was in my bed asleep and I heard glass breaking and I heard screaming, I heard a grown man screaming, not like crying, but like screaming and kids come outside and I looked outside my window and I saw fire,” recalled neighbor Jacob Stewart.

It happened at a home located in the 4600 block of Burks Road. Fire officials told FOX 5 seven people, including five children, were sleeping inside the house when the fire broke out shortly after 2 a.m. Thursday.

“I’d seen a man, I’d seen hands and all he was doing was he was pushing kids out of the window,” said Stewart.

Those hands he saw were those of a loving father, Brandon Gamble, who was helping child after child get out of the burning home. Stewart said it is an image which will stay with him forever.

Forest Park Fire investigators believe the blaze started in the living room of the home. In all, they said seven people lived in this house, five of whom were children ranging from toddler to early teen.

“It had a total of six victims that were transported to the hospital. Those victims had to escape through a window due to the layout of the house. unfortunately, we did have one member of the house that did not escape,” said Forest Park Deputy Fire Chief Matt Jackson.

His family fondly remember the 30-year-old father for his dedication to his family.

“He's just a loving person he always did the best for his family he made sure his family was good he worked two jobs to support his family, two full-time jobs,” said Octavia Bennett, Gamble's cousin.

“He's the hero. He got his family out and I’m sorry he passed away,” said Stewart.

“He did everything for his kids. Those are his kids; those are his babies. He was always saying 'I’d die for my kids' and he did just that,” said Bennett.

The five children were released from the hospital Thursday afternoon. They will be staying with their grandmother while their mother continues to recover from severe smoke inhalation.

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