UPDATE: Four young children escaped a house fire Monday morning thanks to the bravery and quick-thinking of their mother's cousin.

Firefighters say everyone inside was mere seconds away from dying in the fire that started around 7 a.m. at a home on 7th Avenue. Firefighters say the front half of the house was completely engulfed when they arrived.

Twenty-five year old Johnny Robinson woke up to the sound of a baby crying and the smell of smoke. He went to the children's bedroom and was able to save his cousin's four kids, ages 4, 3, 2 and 1.

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"The house was just full of smoke, man, and I walked in the room and it was just full of fire. I just grabbed the kids and got out as fast as I could," Robinson said.

Chattanooga Fire Department spokesman Bruce Garner said that Robinson carried the two youngest children our of the burning house and the other two children walked out with him.

"We just had a few seconds or a minute to go and all five of those individuals would be dead," Garner said.

The children appear to by uninjured, but Robinson suffered some smoke inhalation, singed hair and some burns. he was examined by paramedics but declined transport to a nearby hospital.

The children's parents had been at work for more than an hour when they got the call their home was on fire. Rhonda Waldon, the mother's children, teared up while talking about her children and her cousin's bravery. When she got on scene, she ran toward her children and hugged them.

"Broke down crying thanking God that they were still alive. My cousin actually rescued them. That's what hurts me the most just thinking of him," Waldon said. "He got burnt up pretty bad, his hair, arms, everything... But he saved them all. He saved all the kids. He went in 2, 3 times."

The couple has two other children who weren't home at the time. Robinson said he thought there was a fifth child in the house and went searching through the smoke-filled home. Family members say that's when he sustained some minor injuries.

"I could never explain how much I am thankful for him," Waldon said.

The home has no working smoke detectors, according to the Chattanooga Fire Department.

Waldon said they've been renting the home since this summer and have recently noticed some electrical problems. The fire department is still investigating and hasn't released an official cause but the family says it might've been started by a space heater.

The Red Cross is assisting the family.

PREVIOUS STORY: An early morning house fire left a home on 7th Avenue severely damaged Monday.

Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to the home shortly after 7:00am Monday as smoke was seen inside the home.

No injuries have been reported.

The value of the fire’s damage has not yet been estimated.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined but is under investigation.