SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) --It was an emotional reunion on Saturday in Santa Ana between a father and teen and the firefighters who saved them from a fire that claimed the life of the young girl's mother.
After being in a coma for most of March, Tom McIntosh said he's lucky to be alive. It was three weeks ago that flames tore through their family home on Morningside Avenue.
The smoke knocked out everyone inside.
Firefighters at the scene couldn't get their stretchers inside the burning home, which forced them to literally carry the limp bodies of McIntosh, his wife Patricia and 15-year-old Rebecca outside.
"It was a very surreal moment, seeing them come out, you know, because we practice for stuff like that but to actually have it happen in your career, it's, you know, unusual," said Orange County fire Capt. Derek Bierging.
Patricia McIntosh eventually died from her injuries caused by the fire.
Now, as their family continues to heal both from their burns and their tragic loss, Tom and Rebecca wanted to thank the brave men who saved their lives.
"I'm proud to meet the people that saved my life. I owe them that, at least," Tom said.
Investigators were working to determine the cause of the fire and said the smoke detectors inside the family's home did not go off.
"That's the No. 1 cause of perishing in a fire that we see a lot," said Capt. Mark Weiss of the Garden Grove Fire Department. "They save lives without question."
Two GoFundMe accounts were set up to help pay for Patricia's burial and the family's mounting medical bills. To donate, vist https://www.gofundme.com/rebuild-life-for-tom-dad or https://www.gofundme.com/rebeccahouse-fire-loss-of-mother.