As investigators from both Youngstown Police and Fire, as well as a team of agents with the State Fire Marshal, went through the burned-out remains of the house on Parkcliffe, authorities believe the blaze that killed five young children started in a front, first-floor living room.
“There was a nine-year-old, there was a three-year-old, there was a two-year-old and there were twin one-year-olds,” said Captain Kurt Wright of the Youngstown Fire Department.
The Mahoning County Coroner’s Office confirmed 9-year-old Aleysha Rosario, 3-year-old Charles Gunn, 2-year-old Ly’Asia Gunn and 1-year-old twins Brianna Negron and Arianna Negron died in the Sunday fire in the 400 block of Parkcliffe Avenue.
Calls to 911 started just before 11:30 Sunday night and the first crews were on the scene two minutes later. They found 26-year-old America “Amy” Acevedo outside, she had jumped from the second-floor roof to escape. But her children were trapped inside.
Word of the fire spread quickly, some coming to see for themselves after learning about it on the morning news.
“My step-daughter was texting me this morning about Christmas and I’m like.. I’m in,” said Melissa Thomas of Youngstown.
“You could smell the smoke and you could see…You could see the whole block cordoned-off by the fire department,” said Pastor David Kamphuis.
Pastor Kamphuis lives a block away from the scene. He tells us while many will ask why a tragedy like this happens, answers aren’t always available.
“Sometimes you just have to acknowledge that there are things that go on in the world that are not God’s will, and this is one of them,” he said.
In the meantime, investigators believe the fire appears to be accidental.
“So far I do not see anything leaning towards criminal investigation,” Captain Wright said.
Investigators say they will be waiting for autopsy results on the five young victims before they rule on a cause.
Amy Acevedo was taken to the hospital where she is being treated for her injuries. Her condition has not been released yet.
Rosario, Gunn and Negron Obituaries