CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A Newport is picking up the pieces of their lives after a fire tore through their house Monday.
Mike Wheeler says he was sleeping when his fiancée called him having received several alerts on her phone while at work. She told him to check their surveillance cameras.
“As soon as I opened the door to the bedroom, smoke just started rolling in the bedroom,” Wheeler told FOX19 NOW Tuesday.
Surveillance footage provided by the family shoes the frantic moments that followed as Wheeler yells for his sons, one of them a single father, to get out of the house.
“Come on!” Wheeler screams in the video. “Please! Get out of the house!”
The family escaped through a door on the side of the house after calling 911. By then the house was up in flames. But just as they thought everyone was out, Wheeler calls, “No! Jayden!”
The grandfather thought he’d left his grandson in the house. Firefighters even put a latter up to a window hoping to get him out.
“That feeling of powerlessness was horrible,” Wheeler said.
Luckily, Jayden was at a friend’s house that night. Still, the blaze burned through the house and destroyed it. The smoke column was so thick it could be seen across the Ohio River.
“I was petrified, I’m sure,” Wheeler said. “It got really scary once we got outside and saw the flames.”
Several family pets perished in the fire, including multiple cats and a dog, and Wheeler says the house is a total loss.
“I mean, there’s nothing salvageable at all,” he explained. “It’s gone.”
“I have the greatest friends in the universe, that’s all I can say,” he said.