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Firefighters Talk Power Of Prayer After Fatal House Fire

Posted at 10:22 PM, Jul 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-18 23:30:56-04

A photograph captured at a fatal fire in Columbia is reminding some of the power of prayer.

"I think it just shows the brotherhood and the close family that you have in emergency services," Cobb said. And how everyone in this line of work reflects and how they lean on their God or the power of prayer to help them get through those tough moments."

Emergency workers in Columbia knelt together to pray just after pulling 23-year-old Nathaniel Lewis from a burning home.

The fire happened Sunday morning at 1816 Parkway Avenue. Fire Chief Ty Cobb said Lewis was overcome by heavy smoke and heat, and was trapped in a room near the front of the home when his crews arrived.

When firefighters pulled Lewis out of the home, he did not have a pulse. Crews were able to restart his heart through CPR.

"Which is a good thing," said Chief Cobb. "It means a firefighter's quick actions saved a life."

Crews decided to pray together in the victim's front yard, while an ambulance transported the victim to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

"We prayed for the victim and just put it in God's hands," Cobb said.

The moment was captured by Columbia Daily Herald editor James Bennett, who responded to the scene.

"I looked at my camera lens and just had this special image that I don't think I've ever seen before in the 30 plus years I've been in journalism," Bennett said. "These folks coming together for a two to three minute prayer after they had just saved a victim's life."

Unfortunately, Lewis died later in the day on Sunday. But Chief Cobb said the victim's organs will be harvested to help others.