A memorial outside of the Parkcliffe Avenue home where five children lost their lives continues to grow as neighbors, family and friends stop to place tokens of grief.
The smell of burned wood still permeates the area near the house. Boarded up windows and charred siding marks the site where tragedy struck this south side neighborhood.
Sunday night, five children, 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 lost their lives is a fire that is one of the worst in Youngstown history.
Their mother, America “Amy” Negron, 26, is being treated at Metro Health in Cleveland. She was last listed in critical condition.
As the scene on Parkcliffe Avenue was cleared Monday and emergency crews went home, neighbors began stopping by to pay their respects and mourn the loss of life.
The first memorial began at a utility pole in front of the house. Teddy bears, wreaths, candles, balloons, cards and notes placed together. Then, another was set up along the driveway as people ventured to get a little closer to the house.
Youngstown city leaders and businesses are generating a community response to help Negron when she returns home from the hospital.
Sandra Murphy, owner of Flambeau’s Live on Market Street is organizing a spaghetti dinner benefit at her restaurant.
“You have burials. You have getting life back to together. You have mental health. There are a whole lot of things that come together, all of which need some kind of monetary compensation,” Murphy said.
The spaghetti dinner fundraiser is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 18 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Local churches, Youngstown City Schools, and other organizations are also helping to raise money and offer support for Negron.
Penny Wells, with Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the Past, said her organization will be the funding source for monetary donations for the Negron family. Money will be collected and dispersed through her agency.
“Because I’m a non-profit – Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the Past, I’m a funding source. I’m going to be the fiscal agent for this and we are simply raising money to help the family with funeral costs or whatever that might be,” Wells said.