Community rallies around family after child dies in house fire

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A community is coming together after a weekend fire that claimed the life of one four-year-old and has his twin still in the hospital.

According to the Columbus Division of Fire, the call of a fire near the 3000 block of Glenshaw Avenue just west of Westerville came in Saturday morning.

On Monday, Columbus fire crews said they are still trying to figure out the cause of the fire.

A neighbor, Nathan Kosof, called 911 after he said he woke up to the loud bangs on his door from the 11,14, and 18 year-olds who managed to escape the fire.

“I came out and saw the fire and they said the twins were still inside,” Kosof said.

Kosof knows the family personally and said they’re all very kind and giving. He hopes others will learn a few things from this fire and does not want to see it happen to anyone else.

“I’ve sat down with my kids and we’re going to go ahead and make an escape plan now,” he said.

Columbus Batallion Chief Steve Martin said the cause of the fire will take some time to figure out, but in the meantime, he’s calling on central Ohioans to check their smoke alarms.

“We tell everybody when you go to bed at night, make sure all the doors are closed. Before you go to bed, make sure the candles are off, make sure the fireplace isn’t still burning, make sure the stove and oven are off,” he said.

Dru Tomlin, the principal at Heritage Middle School, where one of the survivors goes to school, said he wants the family to know the Westerville School District is there for them.

“Our counselor is working together, our social worker is working together, and also working with community service agencies that have outreach. It’s about all of us coming together,” Tomlin said.

Martin said the mother will not face charges because there was an adult – the 18-year-old – in the home at the time. The mother, according to Martin, was at work at the time the fire started.

Kosof wants people to know if they want to help or send encouraging words to the family in this time of need, they can reach him at kosof713@yahoo.com and also on Facebook.

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