Three smoke alarms sounded on New Year's Day alerting 10 Florida residents to a house fire.
Six children escaped, but four women did not.
The fire in Marianna left the community stunned, according to WJHG.
Reporters noted it was a phone call James Rhynes doesn't want to remember but will never forget.
"I missed my uncle's call, missed my cousin's call. My mom finally got a hold of me on my son's phone and said, 'get here, get here, get here.' I'm asking her what was going on and she said, 'momma gone, grandma gone, grandma gone and my sister gone,' " Rhynes told the media.
Marianna Fire Chief Nakeya Lovett said the smoke detectors sounded did their jobs, and woke the occupants, including the six children under eight. Unfortunately, he said, four didn't make it out.
"They did what they could to try to save the individuals. But we got the call, unfortunately, a bit too late and had four fatalities," the chief told reporters.
He added that an overloaded extension cord is being eyed as a possible cause.