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First responders coping with deadliest fire in decades

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- "This was just an overwhelming event."

Hearts are broken across the city of Memphis after nine people were killed in a house fire off Severson Avenue.

Six of the victims were children.

"It's like I'm dreaming."

"Of course the scarring will be there. We will think about it daily for the rest of our lives," said cousin Jerry Brack.

Those hearts include first responders.

Fire Director Gina Sweat was at the home shortly after she learned the tragic news--the deadliest fire Memphis has seen in decades.

She said there was a "quiet, calm" among the firefighters.

"You could feel their pain."

Sweat said she knows many of the responders personally.

They're mothers, fathers, aunts and uncles.

"They're strong, they're tough and like we do try to act tough but knowing what I know I know they were in pain and were hurting," she said.

Investigators told us there was a working smoke detector in the home.

The deadly fire started when a cord connected to an Air Conditioning unit malfunctioned.

Responders acted quick.

They were on scene four minutes after they got the 911 call but it was too late.

Brack said healing will take time but he's thankful to the responders and the city for support.

"The show of compassion, I'm just grateful to be a Memphian."