HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Fighting fires and saving lives are typical tasks for firefighters. But one Bayside firefighter never imagined that early Saturday morning he'd end up battling a fire at his own home and saving his family's lives.
Adam Torres has rushed to fires and rescued lives for eight years now as a firefighter for Bayside Fire Department.
"I was awoke by the sound of smoke alarms immediately when I heard the smoke alarms I got Julie up and told her to grab the baby and I grab the other kids," Torres recalled.
In an odd twist of fate his firefighting skills kicked in as they would during any structure fire. He and his wife quickly got all five of their children out unharmed. She called 911 and he ran to work to get a fire engine.
"I was very shocked once I heard whose it was. We are in a business to go and respond to fires, but once you realize its one of your brothers it kind of changes the game a little bit."
Torres said it was just minutes after the smoke alarms went off that the fire had spread throughout his home destroying it and everything inside. After the fire was put out Torres had to tell his children the bad news.
"They were devastated a lot of them were asking about their room and stuff. You know what exactly was left and I just had to explain to them that the whole everything was gone," Torres said.
He and his family are grateful that they all survived, but that doesn't erase the pain of losing everything.
"Well when you lose your home, I mean that's everything. When you lose money its a few dollars you lose a car its easier to replace than your home. But when you have your home you have everything in it," Bayside Fire Chief James Butcher said.
After the experience of losing his home, the next time Torres fights a fire, he can unfortunately tell the victims he knows exactly what they are going through. He's learned the lessons many of the victims of home fires have learned.
"That everybody got out safe. I mean that's. You know materials can be replaced. A life can't," Torres said.
The Hancock County Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.
The Bayside firefighters and West Hancock County firefighters helped put out the blaze. Torres told me that he does have home insurance, however, he and his large family need help. To learn how you can help called the Bayside Fire Department 228-467-5020 or 504-914-9669.