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Aid sought for family that lost two sons, home in fire

POSTED: February 3, 2014 7:55 p.m.

A fund has been set up to help a local family devastated by a fire last week.


Two children died and the family lost their home and belongings in the fire early Thursday morning at 612 West 35th Street in Savannah.


The father, Mike Reed, works in Springfield and is an Effingham County High School graduate.


“They’ve lost everything. It’s a tragedy,” said Maria Parker, Reed’s employer at Superior Steam, Inc., in Springfield.


Eight people — two adults and six children — lived in the house on Savannah’s west side, according to Savannah Fire and Emergency Services. The two children who died were 5- and 6-year-old boys, Parker said.


The American Red Cross is providing assistance to the family. Also, items such as clothing and furniture can be dropped off at God’s Temple of Praise at 1907 Burroughs St. in Savannah.


A fund to help the family has been established at Carver State Bank in Savannah. Donations can be made at either of the bank’s branches, at 701 Martin Luther King. Jr. Blvd. or 7110 Skidaway Rd.


On top of the heartbreak of burying two children, Parker pointed out, the family has the stress of finding a place to live. They are staying temporarily at a hotel in Savannah, she said.


“They need a place to live. That’s a big immediate need,” Parker said. “We as a community would like to help to lift that burden.”


Evidence indicates a space heater caused the fire, according to Savannah Fire investigators. The fire spread quickly through the one-story block house, destroying most of the interior and causing a portion of the roof to collapse.


Flames were “rolling out of the front of the house” when firefighters arrived around 2 a.m., according to Savannah Fire spokesman Mark Keller. Crews were able to keep the fire from spreading to neighboring homes, he said.


Six family members escaped without injury, Keller said, and the bodies of the two children were found as firefighters searched the home. In addition, firefighters located the remains of four of the family’s pet dogs.


Funeral arrangements for the children had not been finalized as of press time.


“It’s a sad story,” Parker said. “I don’t know how any person can wrap their mind around it.”

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