In the wake of a fire that left a young boy dead and his brother and mother critically injured at their Pasadena apartment last week, community members have rallied around the bereaved family, sending an outpouring of donations, along with condolences and prayers.
Keven Arias, 4, died in Wednesday’s fire in the 100 block of East Washington Boulevard, according to Pasadena Fire Department and Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner officials.
His 3-year-old brother, Jordan, and the boys’ 29-year-old mother were hospitalized in critical condition at a burn center following the fire, which was initially blamed on an electrical malfunction in a refrigerator, officials and loved ones said.
A fund to help the family through the tragedy established by family friend Bee Ramirez at gofundme.com/f/arias-boys-and-family raised thousands of dollars within hours of opening on Thursday. By Monday, it had garnered more than $17,000 in donations.
“Let’s help this family who, aside (from) the huge irreplaceable loss, Jordan Sr. has no home at the moment,” Ramirez wrote on the memorial page. “He’s the sole provider to his family and our help can help a tiny bit to ease the pain of still having to find the funds to give his son a funeral.”
Ramirez said the family was moved by the gesture from the community.
“The Arias Carrillo Family greatly appreciate the love everyone is showing towards our little angel Keven and towards the rest of the family, (who are) still fighting and praying Jordan and mom pull through,” Ramirez wrote. “Power of prayer is key.”
Pasadena city spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said the outpouring of caring and compassion demonstrated by the community was touching to see.
“It will be a long road to recovery for the mom and son, and we find some comfort seeing how the community is supporting this family in the aftermath of this tragedy,” she said.
The family was inside their apartment when the fire sparked at about 2 p.m., fire officials said.
Keven Arias was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. His brother and mother were rushed to a hospital with severe injuries, and later transferred to a specialized burn center for further treatment.
Keven Arias’ dog, Blue, was also killed in the fire, according to officials and Ramirez.
“My heart aches and goes out to my friend Nancy, her husband Jordan and all the family,” she wrote.
“Keven, thank you for all the good memories you left with us, although your time was cut short,” Ramirez said. He and his brother attended the Olive Tree Learning Center, she added.
“He was such a bright boy, always discovering new things,” she said. “You made an imprint in all of our hearts. I know you’ll look out for your brother and mommy from up in heaven. You will be missed so much.”
Although an electrical problem in the apartment’s refrigerator was eyed as the preliminary cause of the fire, the official investigation remained ongoing, Derderian said.