A grandmother grieving the death of her fraternal twin grandchildren and the severe burning of her daughter-in-law during a house fire in Manchester, Georgia, is now asking for prayers for her family as they struggle to come to terms with the tragedy.
“We just need prayer. … They can’t be replaced. My babies are gone. They gone,” Trudie Childs, the twins’ grandmother, told Fox19. “I’m just asking the community, just pray. Give us strength, Lord. Pray for my son. Pray for their mother. She down there fighting, too, Jesus.”
The 10-year-old siblings, identified as Brionna Childs and Breon “BJ” Childs, were with their mother at the house when the fire broke out at around 3 a.m., according to the Meriwether County Emergency Management Agency.
Officials from the agency said Brionna was pronounced dead at the scene, while her brother was pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital. Their mother has been hospitalized in critical condition and is being treated for severe burns, according to Meriwether County EMA Director Brin Jones.
Fire investigators said several space heaters were found in the residence but it's yet unknown if they were being used at the time of the fire, Fox 19 added.
The father of the children was not at home when the fire broke out, according to Jones. It was a neighbor who alerted him about the fire, and he returned to the house at approximately the same time the fire department arrived.
“My son, when he got there, he snatched the air condition[er] out of the window. His girlfriend’s arm was hanging out the window, and he just pulled her arm out. Then, the little boy, he got him out, but there was no movement or nothing from neither one of those,” Stanley Childs said. “But the little girl, they couldn’t get to her.”
Stanley Childs said his son was so desperate to save his family from the fire he injured himself in the process, cutting his hands and feet.
“He broke windows trying to get them. You know, he tried everything in his power to try to get them,” he recalled. “They lost everything. It’s not a good thing left. Everything just burned. Everything. Even burned her car up that was in the driveway.”
The grieving grandfather said he will never forget the tragedy he witnessed after he rushed over to the home as soon as he realized it was on fire.
“I’ll remember that for the rest of my life, the way that house was burning, knowing my grandbaby, my granddaughter was still in there,” he told WANF. “They are some very intelligent children. I mean, they honor roll, A-plus students. They weren’t identical twins but fraternal twins, boy and girl … very mannerable in everything.”
Trudie Child’s said her grandchildren would have celebrated their 11th birthday on Feb. 15.
At least two GoFundMe campaigns have been launched to help the family recover from the tragedy.
Trudie Childs called her grandchildren angels and said she is trusting God to give her strength through the tragedy.
“They always greet me with a smile. They tell me, ‘Nana, we love you.’ I’m just going to miss them,” she said, according to WSBRadio. “I just ask God for strength because I know He’ll see us through.”