A class of high school students visited the scene of a deadly house fire in Mount Hope and left notes of condolences for the family of a 7th grader who died in the flames.
The boy was one of three children who were trapped when flames engulfed a single-story home on J Street just after midnight Monday. The child, identified as 12 years old, was found dead inside the burned out back bedroom, officials said.
His two siblings were rushed to UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest where they were listed in critical condition.
When teacher Andrew Bye saw the reports of a fire in the community, he immediately thought about bringing his class to the neighborhood.
“A lot of my students have experienced really horrific losses in their lives and it’s something they can relate to very, very quickly,” Bye said.
Just after noon, a line of teenagers walked up to the home and quietly tucked folded letters into the chain link fence in front of the scorched building.
The students shared their thoughts in class and wrote some of them down on paper.
“A lot of them were expressing their shared emotional loss,” he said. They also tried to instill a message of hope. “Letting the family know things will be better,” Bye said.
The children were in the care of a babysitter when fire broke out. A neighbor was told by the babysitter that a portable space heater may have been placed too close to a mattress. Fire officials have labeled the fire as accidental but have not confirmed a space heater as the cause.
Bye teaches high school at the Youth Day Center on Market Street.