Updated 07/02/2012 04:27 PM
Fatal Fire Victim's Son: 'I Just Couldn't Grab Her the Rest of the Way Out'
Fire investigators are working to determine the cause of a fire that killed an elderly woman Sunday morning at her home on Bay Street.
Family members identified the victim as 72-year-old Airistine Gibson. They say she was active in the community; doing some work for the Rochester Police Department.
Anthony's teenage twin daughters were also inside during the fire but managed to get out.
Three firefighters were injured fighting the fire. Two of the firefighters suffered burns and strains trying to save Gibson. Another firefighter was injured when he fell through the porch.
The cause is under investigation.
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A Rochester woman is dead after an overnight fire ripped through a home on Bay Street Sunday morning. Three firefighters were also injured.
Family has identified the victim has 72-year-old Airistine Gibson.
Anthony and Tyrone Gibson say they have been taking care of their mother for the past couple of years.
She was bedridden after a stroke. They say they did all they could to try and save her.
"She did a lot for the community. She did a lot for everybody. She had a stroke and I got her out the nursing home and brought her home and now this happened to her," said Anthony Gibson.
Anthony took care of his mother and his teenage twin daughters at his Bay Street home.
He says Sunday morning he got a phone call that his home was on fire with all three family members trapped inside. While his two daughters managed to escape his mother was still asleep in her bedroom.
"I come back home and I tried to get my mom out the window. I grabbed her but I couldn't hold her and everything just went up in smoke and she got burnt up in the house," said Anthony.
Tyrone Gibson, who also lives at the house, says he too returned home to find it fully engulfed in flames.
"I couldn't get in the back door so I ran around to the window where my mom was and started knocking the windows out with my fist. I grabbed her legs and pulled her legs out, but I couldn't grab the rest of her body out because the flames were so intense. And the smoke, I just couldn't grab her the rest of the way out," said Tyrone.
Both men said they did all they could to try to save their mother until firefighters arrived.
"The fireman came, he was on fire. I got caught on fire, my legs got burnt," said Tyrone.
Interim Fire Chief Sam Mitrano says the fire was so intense, heavy heat and a flashover prevented firefighters from being able to rescue Airistine. Two of them suffered burns and strains trying to help save her. Another firefighter was injured when he fell through the porch while fighting the fire.
"We did have three fire fighters injured, two of them are off duty and one of them was able to return to duty," said Tom May, Battalion Chief.
Family spent Sunday morning assessing the damage and grieving the painful loss of a mother they say impacted her community.
"She was a beautiful woman," said Tyrone.
"Did a lot of things for the police department. She worked all her life. She did for me. She did for others," said Anthony.
Anthony says the family did not have insurance. The home is a total loss. The Red Cross is providing some assistance to the Gibson family.
Meanwhile the cause of the fire is still under investigation.