• Eyewitness describes scene at Camden County house fire that killed boy, aunt

    By: Danielle Avitable , Action News Jax


    A grandmother was able to escape her house as it became engulfed in flames, but her 6-year-old grandson and his aunt were trapped inside.

    This family was without electricity because of Hurricane Irma and the woman told neighbors they were using candles to light their home.

    It was the cries for help that Alice Mack said woke her from her sleep.

    "That's when I said, 'Honey, somebody is hollering,' and he told me, 'Hush,' and he jumped and looked out the window and said 'OMG,'" Mack said.

    When she looked out her window, she said she saw her neighbor’s home engulfed in flames.

    "It was something like you see in a movie and I still see it when I think about it," Mack said.

    She said she reached for the phone and dialed 911.

    "I said, 'There's a house on fire,' and they asked if someone in the house and I said, 'Yes, because someone is really screaming,'" Mack said.

    As she was talking to a dispatcher, her husband ran through the back yard to get to the house on fire.

    However, Terry Mack said there was too much smoke to get to the two people trapped inside and by that time, firefighters arrived on scene.

    "I mean I’ve been there 15 minutes. He says, 'Is someone in that house?' I said, 'Yes someone's in that house,' and he said 'Oh my God,'" Alice Mack said.

    Mack said she was trying to console the woman who was able to escape while her grandson and his aunt were still inside.

    "Terrible. She was calling their names," Mack said.

    The fire captain said 6-year-old Anthony Green and 52-year-old Myra Butler died.

    “She’s going to need a lot of praying and counseling. She lost everything,” Mack said.

    Arizona Perkins said he knew the family for about 20 years.

    "Very nice, gentle ladies, kind, they would give you the shirt off their backs," Perkins said.

    The fire department is about 2 miles away from the home.

    Action News Jax reached out to the department to find out the exact response time, but didn’t hear back.

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