DECATUR, Ga. - A fire destroyed a home in Decatur's Medlock Park neighborhood on Sunday morning. A 92-year-old man was trapped in the home and died, and two others were taken to the hospital.
The fire broke out around 11 a.m. and several people living there had to escape the flames by jumping through windows. One man broke his ankle jumping from a second story win.
Brandon Brantley says the house filled with smoke and flames so quickly that it was impossible to find the 92-year-old man they lived with that everyone knew as "Grandpa."
He recounts being woken up and being told to get out, "the house is on fire, and that's it. And we looked for the cats, trying to find Grandpa, and everything, and after that, it just went up in smoke," Brantley said.
A family friend said she saw a post on Facebook about a house fire in the neighborhood, and she instantly feared the worst.
"They had told us that it was the third house down coming into our neighborhood, and I saw this black smoke coming through the trees, and I knew right then that it was my friend's house," said Rebecca Wilson.
She said the first moments after arriving to the house were terrifying. She thought, "Oh God, I just hope everybody got out," Wilson said. "I've known this family my entire life, and we were all born and raised here, so I was just praying that everybody got out alive...that's it."
The elderly man living in the home had to be rescued by firefighters, but firefighters said he died later at the hospital.
"Grandpa was 92 and just full of it, full of energy," Wilson said. "A ball of energy. Every time I'd ride by in the morning on my way to work, he'd be walking out to the mailbox to get his mail with his cigar and waves. Halloween, he's passing out candy for the kids. He's just an all-around good guy and a strong man," said Wilson.
Now, the family living in the home said they're not sure what's next.
"I've known them my entire life, and I know they're gonna need all the help they can get," Wilson said. "You know grandpa took care of them, and they're gonna be lost without their grandfather."
Wilson set up a GoFundMe for the family to help with funeral costs.
"Pray for these people to get back on their feet," Wilson said. "They're homeless right now--all of them."