When Reba Glass arrived at Grady Memorial Hospital she believed all of her kids had survived the fire that destroyed their duplex late Tuesday night.
But by early Wednesday morning, Glass was told only her and her five year old son made it out alive.
“She sat up in bed and started screaming for her kids,” Chante Hullum, Glass’ cousin told the AJC.
The only one of her kids that survived, still doesn’t know that he has lost three of his brothers and his older sister.
Darnell, who will turn six Saturday, is alive because his mother threw him out of a window to neighbors below, officers said. He was not badly injured and was released from Children’s Healthcare at Egleston Wednesday.
Ms. Glass is being treated for severe burns that cover more than 40 percent of her body.
Local, state and federal investigators say it will take a while before they know exactly what caused the tragic fire at 1149 Pinedale Circle. They do know it started in a second floor bathroom or hallway. They aren’t sure if the duplex was equipped with smoke detectors. WSB's Richard Sangster reports that sources tell him there are rumblings in Conyers that foul play might be the cause of the fire.
7-month-old Deon, 3-year-old Armoni, 9-year-old Adaria and 7-year-old Dashawn were pronounced dead at the scene.
The family had lived in the duplex since November. They were planning to move out Wednesday.
“Right now, what we think happened is the fire started upstairs, the mother was able to throw one child out the window, then got the grandmother who was sleeping downstairs out of the house,” Conyers Police Chief Gene Wilson said.
“The mother is probably going to be the key” in creating a more complete picture, he said.
But relatives say right show Reba Glass is still in shock.
“She’s kind of in and out. One moment she’s calm and then crying,” said Glass’ sister-in-law, Santana Baker. “She has lots of burns, on her back, forehead, the inside of her hands, her arms and legs.”
“All she’s saying is, ‘My babies. My babies. My babies are gone.’”
Family members still don’t know how they are going to tell Darnell his siblings are dead.
“That’s something we haven’t sat down and talked about,” Hullum said. “I know it’s going to be difficult to tell him what happened to his brothers and sister. Hopefully we can break it down in some way he can understand.”
A community prayer service has been scheduled for Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Macedonia Baptist Church, 1052 Barton Street in Conyers.
A Conyers funeral home, Levett & Sons, has offered to handle the funerals at no cost, county officials said. A memorial service for the children will be held Jan. 19 at 11 a.m. at Macedonia Baptist Church.
A Glass Family Memorial Fund has been set up with Wells Fargo.