Father & 2-year-old daughter killed in early-morning fire Sunday

Updated: Feb. 2, 2020 at 9:36 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Abuwi Rahmaan is still in disbelief after waking up to flames and smoke Sunday morning

“You would never thought something like this would happen that fast,” says Rahmaan. “It was so hot, and the smoke was so intense that I couldn’t just stay in there like that, it would have overwhelmed me.”

Fire officials say at least five people were in the home on 8th Avenue North, possibly more. Rahmaan said he’d been living with his friend, Shaun Sanders, for about three months.

“I woke him up, I told him get up, your house is on fire,” Rahmaan said.

At the time, his friend's children and their cousins were all in the house. They rushed to wake them up and get them outside. But then, a gut-wrenching realization.

“I heard the little baby give a little shout,” Rahmaan said.

Sanders’ two-year-old daughter was still inside.

“You know that’s when my homeboy ran back in there to get his baby, and he ain’t never come back out,” he said.

Sanders and his 2-year-old daughter both died in the fire.

"I don't think he could pinpoint exactly where the little baby was because all the children was in one bed asleep. So we just grabbed who we could get. We were trying to grab everybody."

The roof collapsed in the middle of the home, right where Rahmaan said the space heater was.

“The smoke woke me up. I opened the door to the bedroom and right where the fire was coming out of the wall, was exactly where the space heater was sitting,” he said.

Now, Rahmaan is left struggling with the loss of a friend, and faced with the prospect of starting over.

“It was just overwhelming, it was just overwhelming. I can’t even find the words to express how I feel about the situation myself," he said.

A 10-year-old that Rahmaan says was his friend’s nephew was taken to the hospital in critical condition, everyone else is doing fine.

Fire officials say they are still investigating the cause of the fire.

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