Chief: Townhouse fire leaves 2, 4 year olds severely burned after daring 2nd floor rescue

Norman Reed Jr. recalled the moment a horrific fire broke out, quickly spreading to his Pontiac home early Tuesday morning.

The damage left behind shows devastation from when Reed woke up to screaming outside the Cornerstone Townhomes.

"I saw smoke coming through the light fixtures and stuff like that, that’s when I knew it was time to go," he said. "By the time I got out, there was a fire blazing. Once the fire was blazing. An officer was standing here (yelling) 'Whoever’s in there, get out.'

"We just got out."

Reed woke up his brother who has a disability and thankfully the two quickly made it out. But just next door— neighbor Gladys Turner says a pregnant mom, a baby, and two little boys were stuck on the second floor.

Turner says their dad came home to the chaos.

"She threw the baby out of the window, he caught the baby and set her on the ground," said Gladys Turner. "He kept telling her to jump. She said, 'No I can’t. I can’t, I'm scared.' He told her jump, and he finally got her to jump."

We were told the mom and baby have minor injuries. Turner says firefighters bravely rushed in to rescue a 2-year-old and 4-year-old boy.

"He grabbed the screen door at the top with one hand, and I guess with the adrenaline, he pulled it off and threw it to the side like it was a piece of paper," she said. "All of this was burning so he had to spray the fire to get in the door, and then he had to spray to go up the stairs because the stairs were on fire."

"The firefighters were met with high heat, a lot of fire. They were able to locate the children quickly and get them out," said Fire Chief Matthew Covey, Waterford Regional Fire Department. "Knowing there are two children in the home and the firefighters are going to risk everything they possibly can, to save those children. They did an amazing job making entry."

Fire chief Matthew Covey says first responders rushed the boys to a hospital where they are in critical condition.

"Their injuries are severe, they are severely burned, smoke inhalation," he said. "It’s a big mountain to climb."

Chief Covey says these two units were badly burned. Meanwhile, as this community does what they can to help — Reed says he won't forget the kindness when he needed it most.

"I’m just so glad the community came together as a whole to support one another," he said. "I really felt that that was really awesome."

The Red Cross is currently helping the displaced residents while an investigation regarding how the fire started, continues.