MARTINEZ, Ga. (WJBF)- “I told everybody and I was like hey there’s a fire right behind us I think we should leave the building you know because it could jump over” said Cherie Wood, The Lash Extension owner.

Business owner Cherie Wood says she’s still in shock after experiencing something she says is unbelievable… and could have put her and others in even more danger.

Columbia County Fire department responded to a house fire in Sarah Creek Court around 2pm Tuesday afternoon. Once they were able to get inside they found two children – a 10-year-old and an 11-year old.  The 11-year-old survived.  But 10-year-old Nicolas Mai died.

There are five buildings where local businesses operate directly behind the home.  Everyone inside those businesses had to evacuate.

Wood says before the fire department arrived she could heard a cracking noise through her walls, when she went outside to check she saw heavy smoke and flames coming up from the building next to her.

She says she saw a woman crying seeking for help after hearing loud screams from the home.

“her husband and her was standing there and they said that they heard screams and so he jumped that fence and then went over there to I guess go help”

Misty Johnson who was also in the building says she went to each building to help evacuate.

“By that time it was just loud popping and all of a sudden you just saw flames everywhere and then she ran into these two buildings to get people out and then I ran into these two buildings to get people out of these two buildings” said Johnson.

Johnson says the ordeal was scary.

“Extremely nervous….. shaken not knowing what was gonna happen if it was gonna explode and take out the buildings i mean you just never know” 

Another home was damaged due to the fire but no one was inside.  

“Knowing that and being so close it’s really hard because you want to help but sometimes you know you have to let the professionals do that and handle that and that’s what we just had to do so” said Wood.

“Talk to your kids about fire safety and what to do and where to go if the house is on fire to get out of the house and to  have a destination point of where you’re going to meet your children if something does happen” said Johnson.