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Family: 12-year-old died trying to rescue his brother from a house fire

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Posted at 10:34 AM, Dec 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-30 11:34:11-05

By Jasmine Anderson

JEFFERSON COUNTY, GA. (WFXG) -  The Fire Marshal is investigating what caused a fire in Wrens that claimed the life of a 12-year-old Thursday morning while his parents were at a doctor’s appointment in Thompson, Georgia. It sent Devin Farmer’s brother and a firefighter to the hospital. Right now, the fire chief said it could be electrical.

The Farmers lost this home, everything they owned and most importantly, Devin, who was a 7th grade Wrens Middle School student.

“He’s our precious angel. Devin’s special. Devin’s touched everybody he ever met," his mother, 52-year-old Brenda Farmer, said.

Devin Farmer was his parents' miracle baby; an aneurysm and related complications kept him in and out of Children’s Hospital of Georgia for the majority of the first five years of his life. Despite it all, his parents say he always had a smile, hug and a favorite pastime.

“He loved to fish. He just really, really loved to fish," recalled his father, 63-year-old Clifford Farmer Jr.

His parents said he also had a big heart and spent his last moments alive warning them about the fire.

“We got a phone call, and all we heard was ‘daddy, daddy, mom, daddy daddy.’ Devin called our phones. Devin called us and then the phone went dead," the Farmers told FOX 54.

And trying to save his brother, 20-year-old Clifford Farmer III.

“[According to his older brother,] Devin was downstairs and he woke up Clifford by screaming up the stairs that there was a fire, get out. And in the smoke, they were screaming for each other and they missed each other," his mother said. She said for some reason, instead of going outside, Devin went upstairs trying to find his brother.

Firefighters found Devin’s body in his brother’s room. Clifford made it outside safely and was rushed to Doctor’s Hospital.

Firefighter Curtis Smith was also hospitalized.

“He was taken to the hospital, they did find some issues going on with this heart and they’re doing tests on that but I spoke with him yesterday, he’s doing fine Hopefully he’ll be able to come home today," said Wrens Fire Department Fire Chief Keith Boulineau.

This tragedy hit the entire community hard. People are donating cash and clothes to the fire department, trying to help the Farmers any way they can.

Right now, the Farmers are living with relatives, and say their greatest need is finding a home of their own. They also expressed their gratitude to the community, that quickly raised thousands of dollars through a GoFundMe account.

As the family prepares to bury Devin, their other son, Clifford, who sustained burns to his face, was discharged from the hospital and is with his family.

The Farmers donated Devin’s heart and eyes to LifeLink of Georgia.

“That helps me to know that somebody else is going to be looking out of his eyes and his heart is still going to be beating somewhere,” his mother said through tears.

It was the hardest phone call Brenda Farmer said she’d ever made in her life.

Here is what they need and how you can help:

Clifford Farmer III | shirt: Adult small, pant size: 30/32, shoe: 11(adult)

Clifford Farmer Jr. | Shirt: 2XL, pant size: 42/30, shoe: 13

Brenda Farmer | shirt: Large, pant size: 12, shoe: 8.5

Janie Farmer | Lives in Augusta

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