Just before 2:30 pm Wednesday afternoon, District 4 Volunteer Firefighters and Columbus Firefighters responded to West Brewer Lane near Old Macon Road for a house fire. At the dead end of Brewer Lane, smoke billowed from the home of Anna Brewer. Witnesses in the neighborhood told responders that there were still two people inside the home, 87-year-old Anna Brewer and her granddaughter, five-year old Damania Collins.
Volunteers and neighbors worked hand-in-hand to battle the blaze. They poured on water and pulled siding off the home with their bare hands to gain better access to the fire, but were unable to save the two occupants. Several who were fighting the fire suffered from smoke inhalation and were given oxygen treatments on scene. [One neighbor cut his right hand open while pulling siding from the home, but ignored his injury to continue helping. An ambulance was called out to his home later in the evening to treat the laceration. – JD]
Brewer’s son, Rayon Brewer, was inside the home with the victims when the fire broke out. He ran next door to call 911, returning roughly five minutes later to find the mobile home fully engulfed in flames. He was unable to get back inside the home to help his family, having to look on as the fire burned.
As of press time Wednesday evening, it was unclear how or where the fire started. The incident is still under investigation and the Fire Marshall will be on scene Thursday morning to determine the cause.
Mrs. Brewer and young Miss Collins were loved deeply by those around them. Before the fire was fully contained, West Brewer Lane was lined with friends and family who had come to check on and help the family.