PLEASANT GROVE, AL (WBRC) - 35-year-old Andrew Hill was known as 'Kojak' to his family and friends. He had four children. Two young girls - ten and 13 - who were at home when the fire happened around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night.
"When the firefighters arrived, they found two young girls outside and the flames started to come out the kitchen window," Robert Knight, Pleasant Grove Fire Chief and Public Safety Director said.
Knight says investigators believe food was left on the stove and this caused the fire. After the fire started, the girls started screaming.
"One girl went out a side window, another went out the front door because of the smoke. They said their father was trying to put out the fire in the kitchen," Knight said.
Knight said Hill's body was found in the bedroom. Firefighters tried to revive him, but he was already dead.
On Wednesday, family members returned to the home. They say all of the children are now with family members, crying and coping with the loss of their father. Neighbors called the death a tragedy.
Chief Knight said this tragedy dramatizes how deadly smoke can be for any potential victim.
"It's not the fire that kills you. It's smoke and the chemicals in the smoke. You are overcome so quickly you are disoriented. You are walking through your house suffocating with your eyes closed," Knight said.