Friends and neighbors honor two little boys and grandma killed in fire

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Friday, April 26, 2019
News 12 @ 11

WRENS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A fire took the lives of a grandmother and two little boys in Wrens, Georgia this morning. It broke out around 10:30 a.m. Firefighters got the call at 10:34 a.m. and were there by 10:39 a.m. but the fire was too fast-moving.

Family, friends, and neighbors are still processing the shock and sadness.

In Wrens, just about everyone knows everyone. So seeing two families lose so much in one day is impacting friends, neighbors, and perfect strangers.

It's easy to lose track of time here on McDonald court. For this community, it feels like their own slice of paradise off a dirt road.

"Everyone knows everyone. The community is small." said Brittany Sanchez, who lives on McDonald Court.

This part of Wrens is small in numbers. But they band together like an army of thousands when something bad happens. Like when one neighbor loses her son, her mom,and her belongings in mere minutes.

"We ran over here to try and go inside to see if anyone was in there," said Sanchez. "But we couldn't open the door, the flames were too big"

Sanchez captured her neighbors home covered in flames with three people inside on video.

"It makes you feel kinda guilty," said Sanchez "When you know someone's in there and you can't do nothing about it."

She and her cousins ran to the door, trying to get everyone out. Two-year-old Zaydan Johnson, three-year-old Carson Lamar, and Zaydan's grandma Deborah Johnson never made it out.

"As parents...as mothers...we're supposed to die before them," said Barbara Gates, a family friend.

Word travels fast -- so Thomas Thigpen came to see what was left.

"The two youngins never did have a chance at life," he said.

And the fire chief -- whose firefighters made it here in less than five minutes after the call came in -- can hardly believe it either.

"There are no words," said Chief Keith Boulineau "Nothing you can say can bring them comfort,"

But in Wrens, close friends and neighbors will certainly try.

The State Fire Marshal's office is taking over the investigation, but the Fire Chief says he doesn't see any signs of this being suspicious. It appears to be accidental. The fire marshal plans to release more on Monday.

Zayden's mom lost all her belongings in the fire. The family is asking for clothes to be donated so she can get back on her feet. She wears a size 16 in pants and an XL in shirts, and a 9.5-10 in shoes. Family says any donations can be taken to the James Funeral Home. That's at 630 N Main St in Wrens.

We've asked Carson's family information on how you can help them. We'll let you know as soon as we hear.