When an early morning fire hit a duplex without smoke alarms, there was little time for neighbors to react.

The fire started in the attic of the Carmen Place house where 5 kids and 2 parents were at home.

"They all lived on the same street, the grandmother, the family that's gone, they were all close-knit," says Margie Johnson of Countryside Baptist Church where the family attended.

But in the end, the fire tore the family apart.

Three members got out. 17-year-old Brandon and 16-year-old Scott Caffee, and their stepfather James Tucker.

But mom, 36-year-old Jennifer Caffee and the three girls did not.

There was the youngest, Holly, an energetic kindergartner at Bruce Elementary. "She liked doing, she liked going, but when she got tired, she liked to go home to mama," says Johnson.

There was the oldest daughter, Lizzy, very much 15. "Lizzy wanted to be in everything. Everything that was done, Lizzy wanted to help."

Wendy, age 10, had celebral palsy and was confined to a wheelchair.

In fact, they'd just gone to Lake Tobesofkee with their church, which is also on Carmen Place. Now friends and neighbors say they're feeling the loss.

And in some cases, so are total strangers. Walking in the summer heat, Marilyn Hall was on a mission. She didn't know the girls, but says that doesn't matter.

"You know, it just led me to go there," Hall said. "Put some teddy bears and some flowers out for them, let some somebody know that they really care."

The family's church is seeking donations for the family. You can go to any SunTrust Bank and ask to donate to the Countryside Baptist Church's fund for the Jennifer Caffee family.

Follow Tom George on Twitter @thetomgeorge

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