General — 17 January 2014 — by Albert J. Ciego
Giles Street fire injures grandma and grandson, 8

10 homeless, estimated loss about $80,000

A grandmother and her grandson suffered burn injuries when their concrete home on Giles Street, in the Junesville area of Lake I, caught fire at about 9:00 Friday night, January 10.

Yvonne Michaels, the house owner and grandmother, suffered burns to her face and forehead, while her grandson, Ryon Martinez, 8, suffered 2nd degree burns to his face, hands and body, and was admitted for treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after he was rescued from the burning house on Friday night.

As a result of the fire, ten people – four adults and six children— are now homeless. The house was completely destroyed, along with all household appliances, furniture and furnishings. The family said that nothing was saved. The estimated loss to the family is about $80,000.

Josephine Michaels told Amandala that on Friday evening, she and her mother were at home, along with the children, when they lit two candles, because the electrical power to their house had been suspended. A candle was put in the hall and the other in the front room where the children were. Shortly after, the children ran out of the room. She then went in to see what was happening and saw the room on fire and the mattress burning. She quickly raised the alarm and ran out to alert the neighbors, and to get help. She then ran back in the house, but the fire quickly spread and the house became engulfed in flames.

She told Amandala that her son, Ryon, was trapped under the bed, and her mother went into the room to get him, but the mattress was engulfed in flames, and fell on him when he came out from under the bed. As a result, he suffered burns to his body, hands and face. He was immediately rushed to the KHMH, where he was admitted and treated for 2nd degree burns. He was released from the hospital today and is recovering with his family.

According to one of the children, Ryon had saved some money under the bed, and went for it and got trapped under the bed when the mattress became engulfed in flames.

The fire service was called and responded about 20 minutes later. By that time, however, the entire house already was covered with flames, and the roof caved in.

Presently the family members have been scattered, and are living with friends and family. Josephine said that they are in need of material and financial assistance to acquire the necessary clothing, school books and other supplies they lost. Members of the public are asked to donate generously to the devastated family. The family can be contacted at phone numbers 632- 7180, 602 – 8880 or 663 – 8056, and 629 – 9764. Monetary donations can be made to Atlantic Bank account number 2114-64173 or 95572.

Popular DJ of More FM, “Brick City”, and his partner Vida, are organizing a concert to help the family in a fundraising and donation-soliciting effort. Brick City told Amandala that the event will be held Saturday on La Croix Boulevard from 9:00 in the morning to 6:00 in the evening.

Various artists will participate and will entertain the crowd. Among them will be the Sweet Pain Band and Consego, among other artists. Brick City said that the concert will be free and urges the public to come to the concert, but to bring along donations – in the form of money, building materials, food, clothes, or other necessary items — to give to the devastated family.

Also, during the concert and throughout the day, a bar-b-q sale will be conducted to raise funds to assist the family. Brick City and the artists appeal to the public to assist them in any way to help the fire victims. Brick City can be contacted at phone number 633-5009.

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