DETROIT - Five people were inside the house on Rohns near Mack when the blaze broke out at around 8 a.m.
"They were screaming and panicking. It woke up the whole block,” said neighbor Vincent Moore.
The house on the 3500 block of Rohns had been in the Bracy family for years.
"They've been there a long time. Since I was a little girl,” said Renee Williams, a neighbor. “I grew up knowing them."
Neighbors say the house was gone in an instant.
"I heard a boom and I came back downstairs and I saw them running outside with half their clothes off," Moore said. "The man right here threw some glass through there.
"I guess they came out of the window because they damn near had to break the door down to get in there. (Smoke) came from the top first. It came all from the side then tumed up. The mom was up there somewhere.”
Moore heard that boom at around 8 a.m. Inside the house - five people. According the family, that includes Booker Bracy- in his 80’s, and his wife Catherine.
"They were beautiful people, stayed to themselves,” said Moore. “Beautiful. I can't say it better than that sir."
Booker and Catherine were pulled from the burning house by Detroit firefighters.
"They were doing CPR on them," said Williams.
Family says, despite the efforts, Booker did not survive. Catherine is in extremely critical condition from the burns she suffered.
"Maybe about five of them working on them,” said Williams. “Some in the house were working on them. It was going down. It was too much."
Three other family members were also injured and are being treated. A firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation.
Fire investigators are trying to determine an exact cause. We’re told there was a lot of lightning in the area when the fire broke out. They are also looking at that as a possibility.