Atlanta firefighters recall chaotic scene, woman screaming in burning SW Atlanta home

A Southwest Atlanta mother is in the burn unit at Grady after her home went up in flames.

Atlanta firefighters rushed into the house to save her and her son, but he did not make it.

"We just see heavy, heavy smoke in the neighborhood," Atlanta firefighter William Brewer. 

For Atlanta firefighters, Brewer and Captain Borgen Johnson, the Colorado Trail house fire call Wednesday night was anything but calm from the moment they arrived.

"Before I could even really park the truck there were bystanders just yelling at us telling us there are people inside, people inside," Brewer said. 

Capt. Johnson heard a woman screaming. Moments after getting to the burning home he and another firefighter rushed in.

"As we went inside there was a heavy amount of fire coming from the kitchen area," he said. "I told them we have to get low."

Using a thermal camera and a flashlight Johnson quickly found a man. They pulled him out and started CRP. At that point, Brewer was suited up and he went in.

"You could still hear the woman screaming at that point too and so that made me go even harder and that's when we busted the front door open and we were able to locate the female victim," Brewer said.

Both were rushed to the hospital, but the family says Jamaal Pope did not make it. 

As for mom, Connie Pope, she is at Grady in the Burn Unit dealing with serious injuries.

"The community has been very supportive and just keep praying for us," said Genovis Pope, Jamaal’s brother.

On Saturday, the Atlanta Fire Department went back to the neighborhood for a smoke alarm blitz. They went door to door, offering free smoke detectors and masks to anyone who wanted them.

"We want to try to be a little more proactive where we don't have to go in and try and pull people out of the house where they can actually be alerted to a fire situation and get out themselves," said Capt. Taurus Durrah with Atlanta Fire. 

For Capt. Johnson, the call turned into a personal one. Jamaal was a high school classmate. While he did not survive the firefighters know they did their best.

"Life safety is always a priority no matter what the situation is and we went in and advanced inside and executed," Johnson said. 

No word on what caused this fire, but the investigation is still underway.