Family of Bridgeport Fire Victims Speak Out - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Family of Bridgeport Fire Victims Speak Out

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Investigators are shown on the scene of a fire in Bridgeport. Investigators are shown on the scene of a fire in Bridgeport.
This memorial has been set up at the scene of a deadly fire in Bridgeport. This memorial has been set up at the scene of a deadly fire in Bridgeport.

WTRF.com UPDATE:

In a show of support and generosity, area residents have started a memorial at the site of the fatal fire in Bridgeport.The fire claimed the lives of three children last week.

People are placing items such as balloons, stuffed animals and religious items on the porch of the home. The memorial is expected to grow over the next several days.

 


 

ORIGINAL STORY:

Five days after a Bridgeport fire takes the life of three children, 7News sat down with the grandparents and two aunts who are mourning their loss and now trying to pick up the pieces.

Grandparents Ruth and James Owens, and aunts Carrie Edgar and Rose Campbell have spent the last few days in and out of the hospital with the children's mother, who remained on a ventilator in the hospital Thursday.

Holding a photo of her three grandchildren, Ruth Owens recalled their personalities.  Owens said 5-year-old Josh loved Spiderman, and he loved to dance. She said 4-year-old Ruthann loved to sing, and  2-year-old Aubrey was always full of smiles.

 According to Owens, they were good kids that were loved by their parents very much.

The family had lived in that Bridgeport apartment building for seven months. Josh was registered to attend kindergarten this year at Bridgeport, and Ruthann was in preschool, according to the family.

 When 7News sat down with them Thursday, this family said they wanted to get the story straight. They said the awful rumors going around town just make the loss harder.

 The family said they want the speculation to stop. The Fire Marshall ruled the cause of the fire undetermined, but said it may have been electrical. Ruth Owens said her daughter knew the electrical box in her apartment was bad, and claims to have brought it up to the landlord.

 The community banded together helping to get this family through the last five days.

 "The support from the community has been so overwhelming," Campbell said. "They're not our babies now. They're everybody's babies."

 Campbell said their main concern is getting her sister stable, and home for the services of the children. Doctors told the family Wednesday that wouldn't be possible and that they tape the funeral and let her watch it in the hospital.

 "She's in and out of consciousness because of them keeping her sedated," Cambell said. "Every time she wakes up, she asks about the children. She wants to see the babies, and we have to keep telling her that they're gone."

 The children's father was released from the hospital Thursday, the mother received skin grafts on her arms and the backside of her hands Wednesday and remains hospitalized.

 "If something good doesn't come out of this, then it's going to happen again," Campbell said.

 The family said they'll be pushing stronger building codes and laws for landlords and inspections.

 "We have a lot of people backing us up on this," Campbell said. "The community wants to see change."

 While the family has seen a tremendous amount of support from the community, they still need more help for the funeral services.

The services will be open to the public and held on March 29 from 2 – 8 p.m., with a funeral on March 30 at 11 a.m.

Flowers, four plots, and the opening and closing of the graves, have all been paid for, but the family is still responsible for coffins and vaults. The family is taking donations at the Wilson Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

According to Randy Borkoski, funeral director at Wilson Funeral Home, donations are still being accepted for the family.