Like so many millions of Americans, Jane Williams was glued to the television, watching the tragedy unfold in Charleston, South Carolina. Then she found out the news on TV.
"I looked up and saw Brandon's picture on there," said Williams, who was firefighter Brandon Thompson's aunt.
Two minutes later, a phone call from a cousin, the terrible news that her nephew was among the 9 firefighters killed.
27-year old Brandon Thompson was born in Mobile but grew up in Summerville, South Carolina. He'd been a firefighter for 4 years, a volunteer before that. Thompson was engaged to be married in October. It was his father and brother who carried his body out of the burning warehouse.
"I can't fathom carrying my son out of a burning building," said Williams.
Williams says it was her brother, Brandon's father who instilled the honor of public service into him.
"He served 3 tours of Vietnam and he always told Brandon about public service," said Williams.
Williams says she is not at all bothered by learning her nephew's death on national TV because she knows her brother didn't have the strength to call everybody.
Jane Williams just happens to work less than 200 yards away from the nearest fire department in Montgomery. After what happened in Charleston, she plans to pay station 7 a visit and later bake a cake for the firefighters.
"Everybody needs a word of thanks because you may not have that chance tomorrow," said Williams.
Williams works in administration at Huntington College. For now Williams' attention is focused on her family, making preparations to bury a young firefighter who according to Williams.. died doing what he loved.