ELYRIA — Several donation drives have begun in the day and a half since the fire that killed a 4-year-old boy and displaced four members of his family.
William Davila said he was outside the house when the fire started. William Davila’s daughter, Alyndria Davila, and granddaughters Jayla Mitchell, 11, and Amaria West, 6, made it out unharmed. But grandson Omeire West, 4, was still inside.
When Elyria firefighters arrived at 424 Second St. about 3 p.m. Saturday, the house was fully engulfed. Firefighters attempted to find and save the boy, but the fire rapidly spread throughout the home, causing extensive damage and collapsing portions of the home, according to the Elyria Fire Department.
The boy’s body was found in his second-floor bedroom about 8 p.m., Elyria fire inspector Paul Males said, and he probably died of smoke inhalation before the fire reached his room.
Sister Cathy McConnell of Sacred Heart Chapel in Lorain said the church accepted donations for the family Sunday. McConnell said clothes are nice, but that it would be more practical if they received gift cards to places like Walmart or Target. The family is staying with relatives but has no place to store the donations.
“Some people have come with blankets or clothing, but the difficulty of that is: If they don’t know the (clothing) size, they wouldn’t know what to get,” she said.
On Facebook, a family member had requested the following sizes if clothes are donated: for William Davila, size 32 pants, medium shirts and size 11 shoes; for Jayla and Amaria, sizes 7/8 clothes, size 1 shoes and size 2 to 3 shoes; and for Alyndria Davila, size 11 pants, extra large shirts and size 10 shoes.
People also can send checks to Sacred Heart Chapel, 4301 Pearl Road, and put the family’s name, Davila, in the memo line, McConnell said.
Leandra Castillo, of Elyria, said her motorcycle club Disturbing Da Streetz began collecting donations Saturday to take to Sacred Heart Chapel. Castillo said she also is planning a motorcycle run. Participants would pay $10, and all proceeds would go to the family.
“Nothing is going to replace their child, but we can help to get them all together again,” she said.
Castillo said she and other motorcycle clubs will meet soon to plan the fundraiser.
Two GoFundMe pages also have been set up to help the family.
Alyndria Davila’s friend, Brittney Mohn, of North Ridgeville, said she started her first page on the site Sunday morning because of the sorrow and helplessness she sensed from her friend.
The page had raised $770 as of 6 a.m. today.
Mohn said Alyndria Davila was devastated and distraught when she talked with her Saturday night. She also said Alyndria’s sister told her they were thankful for the community’s support.
There also is a GoFundMe page to help pay for Omeire’s funeral. As of 1 a.m. today, the campaign had raised $1,765 of its $10,000 goal. The page is organized by Ashton Marie, of Lorain.