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Family, friends react to tragic house fire

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Tonight, a father is in mourning.

"I don't know what to say. I don't know what to feel."

WREG caught up with him moments before he left for the hospital to check on his 8-year-old son.

He lived here at this home off Severson Avenue, but said he was gone when the fire broke out.

"My baby!!"

Relatives, friends and neighbors were visibly in pain.

"It's just a house everyone remembers, just a house everyone can knock on the door and come home to," said family friend Frederick Terrell.

Terrell told WREG he was at the home just hours before it caught fire.

"I mean we were just here in the driveway yesterday."

Firefighters said 9 people died.

The oldest victim was in her sixties, while the youngest was just 3-years-old.

The lone survivor, an 8-year-old boy, was rushed to LeBonheur Children's Hospital to undergo treatment.

"They just called me Uncle Fred, every time they see me. 'Hey Uncle Fred how you doing?' Just putting it in the Lord's hands."

Memphis Fire Director Gina Sweat said her firefighters got the call around 1:30 Monday morning.

Someone from inside the home called 911 and firefighters were there four minutes later.

Sweat said responders were able to get the blaze under control quickly.

Investigators also said the smoke detector in the home was working.

There were also bars on the windows and doors of the home.

"Our firefighters had to break in the security door and gain access to the building."

Sweat said most of the victims died from smoke inhalation, but several had severe burns as well.

While questions remain, family tells me they're trying to find some comfort in faith.

"And just trust that we will get through this," said Jerry Brack, a cousin.