Speaking from the hospital where she and her partner are recovering after escaping from the blaze which gutted their home in Harbour Street, Nairn, north east Scotland, Sylvia Porter said: "My kids were my life".
Clearly beside herself with grief, Ms Porter told Grampian Television that she had tried in vain to get back into the burning maisonette.
"I tried to get in to get my children. I just could not get in, I just could not get to them."
Youngsters Greig, 10, Sylvia, six, Douglas, four, and three-month-old Shane perished in Sunday morning's fire which has shocked the local community. The cause remains a mystery.
Sylvia Porter's partner, Douglas Nicoll, who also struggled to rescue the children, was also clearly distraught throughout the interview.
Lying in his hospital bed where he is recovering from two broken ankles which he sustained when he fell from the upper balcony of the flat, he said the first he had known of the fire was when the second youngest child ran into his room shouting: "Daddy, there's a fire."
Weeping uncontrollably, Mr Nicoll said he had got the family to the upper floor of the house as flames swept through the interior with ferocious speed.
He said he had got the children onto the upper verandah and closed the door behind them and tried to get over the balcony in order to bring them down.
"I thought there was time to get them off but the flames were so intense, and then there was an almighty bang. I knew what it was, it was the verandah below."Reuse content