Luther Jones, a firefighter with the Lawrence Park Volunteer Fire Department, lost three of his children in the overnight fire at a Pennsylvania daycare that occurred over the weekend. Jones was on a call just blocks away during the tragic incident, People confirmed.
Jones responded to a call when the fire started at Harris Family Daycare, where three of his five children were staying. The Erie Fire Department worked to put out the fire at the daycare after the call came in around 1:00 a.m. Five children passed away during the blaze, including four siblings, three of whom were Jones’ children. The children were identified as La’Myhia Jones, 8; Luther Jones Jr., 6; Ava Jones, 4; and 9-month-old Jaydan Augustyniak. Two older children escaped through a window.
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“I can’t imagine what that poor young man is going through,” Lawrence Park Fire Chief Joe Crotty told People. “The poor kid. We’re doing everything we can. We all went over as a fire department and brought him food and sat down and talked with Luther.”
The children’s mother, Shevona Overton, told the local CBS station, WSEE, “I’m just so hurt my babies are gone. I love them dearly. I just hurt inside knowing that my kids were fighting and hurting in that fire. Every minute, I feel the same pain.”
The source of the fire is most likely “over-loaded” extension cords, according to a spokesperson for the Fire Department. There was only one smoke detector in the facility.
The Lawrence Park Fire Department has set up a fund for Jones and his surviving family.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.