Mason Firefighters Cope With Stress Of Fatal Fire

(MASON, OH) -- The Mason fire that killed four children and their mother has shaken the entire community.

Michel Veillette is accused of murdering his wife and setting a fire that killed his children in their Mason home.

But the emotional stress remains for the first responders who tried to save those children.

FOX19's Corey McConnell has the story.

They were the first ones there.

"The dye was probably cast before we got the call they did a quick job of knocking the fire down and pulling people out," said Mason fire chief John Moore.

Chief John Moore says Mason city firefigheters did everything they could, everything they're supposed to do, but they couldn't save the lives of the four Veillette children.

"We are like everyone else. It's hard to deal with. It's hard to deal with children in any type of critical situation. It's doubly difficult to deal with the number of young children involved," said Moore.

The healing process started as soon as the flames were out.

'There isn't any logic that would suffice or satisfy any body as to an explanation of why," said Moore.

The Southwest Ohio Critical Incident Stress Management Team was called in to help Mason first responders cope. The team's job is to help debreif and minimize the harmful effects of stressful crisis situations.

"Conventional wisdom is talking helps and no one wants to or very few people want to," said Moore.

Unlike police, a firefighter's job is finished when the fire is out and those that can be saved, have been, which the chief says has left Mason firefighters with images they can't shake from that horrible night.

"First responders, police and fire, are used to giving help and not taking help so it becomes more difficult," said Moore.

Those firefighters are also getting help from the department chaplain and counseling if they need it.