MILWAUKEE -- An amateur video shot Friday near 13th and Hadley captures the desperate moments before firefighters arrived on scene, as family members tried to put out the fire themselves.
The video shows a young man spraying the fire with a garden hose. Family says he lives next door and was trying to save his aunt's house.
It was Lisa Sykes's son who was trying to put out the flames. All the while, Sykes's sister, his aunt, was still inside her home.
"I'm just thankful that my family is still alive," said Lisa Sykes.
Lisa Sykes says the fire started in an electrical outlet upstairs. Her sister, Fannie Royals, had gone into the basement to turn off the electricity. The video captures the moment Fannie's son entered the burning building to find her.
"She got kind of turned around in the smoke. So her son actually had to go down and bring her up out of the basement, " said Willie Sykes, Fannie's brother.
A passerby, Jerrell Patterson, shot the video, which also shows firefighters arriving on scene, climbing onto the house and opening the roof.
"The flames actually burst out in the firemans' faces so that was actually pretty scary," said Patterson.
Family says they've owned the house for 30 years. They're grateful no one needed medical attention, especially Fannie who is a 20 year Marine Corps Veteran.
The fire happened Friday and the house is a total loss. One day later, all that remains is a gutted structure and charred wood.
Fannie Royals does have family living right next door, and they are caring for her during this difficult time.