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ONLY ON: Downstairs neighbor talks about West Allis fatal fire

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WEST ALLIS (WITI) -- Two teenage boys died in a house fire in West Allis on Sunday, March 17th. But two other children made it out of the building okay -- in part because of their downstairs neighbor.

Joanna Garcia lived in the unit directly below where the fire started. She spoke exclusively with FOX6 News on Friday, March 22nd.

"I ran in the hallway and the smell was a little stronger," said Garcia.

That smell was smoke pouring out of the upstairs unit. Garcia says she and a friend ran to see if anyone was home.

Joanne Garcia

Joanne Garcia

"As I'm up there the smoke started getting worse. I just opened the door and yelled, "Fire, fire! Wake up!" said Garcia.

Garcia says she walked inside the unit and saw the back of the apartment glowing.

"I didn't know if anyone was home but something told me that I needed to find out," said Garcia.

Moments later, two boys emerged. 13-year-old Joel Gonzalez and his four-year-old brother.

"My friend tried to run back in there and grab the other boys. We couldn't," said Garcia.

Michael Gonzales and Isaiha Kobow could not make it out of the building -- and were found dead later that morning.

"It was horrible. I was trying so hard and it was just awful. I can't even explain the feeling.  It's just sad. Very, very sad," said Garcia.

Garcia has also lost everything. Luckily, her three children were not home at the time of the fire. She says right now, they have no home. They are in desperate need of an apartment.

A fundraiser is being held for the Garcia family. Information is just below:

1022 Pub & Grub
1022 S. 60th St.
West Allis
Friday, March 29th
8 p.m. - close
Donations of gift cards, money, clothing are being requested