A volunteer firefighter lost three of his children in a deadly fire that ripped through their daycare centre while he was on a nearby call-out for a 'broken alarm'.Luther Jones was 'just blocks away' from the centre in Erie, Pennsylvania, which caught fire and killed five children in total, also injuring the building's owner. The ages of the victims ranged from eight months to seven years, with Mr Jones' two daughters - La'Myhia Jones, eight, and Ava Jones, four - and son Luther Jones Jr, six, among them.
Lawrence Park Township Volunteer Fire Department chief Joe Crotty said that Mr Jones was out on a call that turned out to be a false alarm, adding that the tragedy is 'beyond comprehension'.At a press conference, Mr Jones said: "No one wants to lose three children in one night. Actually, no one wants to bury their children at all. It's been hard for me for the last couple of days to even cope with them not being here."Not hearing them just call for me for anything they needed. Luther loved me like there was no tomorrow, he hugged me don't matter who's around, he would come directly to me and ask for anything."
Speaking about the call he was attending at the time, Mr Jones said: "As they were fighting the fire, I did not know that was my kids, I answered a call for a fire alarm that night, around that time. Around an hour and a half later I got a phone call saying that my kids were at the ER, come now."The mother of Mr Jones' three children, Shevona Overton, who is also a parent to another child that was killed, said she had 'lost a piece of me that can never be replaced'.She added: "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."
Lawrence Park Volunteer Fire Department has posted on Facebook for anyone wanting to send a donation to the family - any financial contributions are to be sent to Lawrence Park Fire Department, Luther Jones Family Fund. Donations can also be made at any Erie Northwest Bank branch, but for people who don't live nearby, they can be sent to Northwest Bank, 4270 E. Lake Rd, Erie, PA 6511. The account name for donations is the Lawrence Park Fire Department: Luther Jones Family Fund. In a statement, the Volunteer Fire Department said: "Organizationally and individually, we are heartbroken by the recent tragic fire in the City of Erie. We are grieving deeply as this has affected one of our members. We are asking for your support, prayers, and privacy during this time of sorrow."