Highland Park rallies around family of 12-year-old boy killed in house fire

Marvin Carter killed in house fire on Connecticut Street

HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. – The Highland Park Fire Department and the mother of a 12-year-old boy who was killed this week in a house fire held a news conference Wednesday to talk about the incident.

Firefighters also spoke about the safety of space heaters and what families should do if they don't have heat.

Marvin Carter, 12, was killed Monday in a fire at his home. His sister escaped the fire with burns.

Officials said the family has been left with no home, and their clothing and shoes were destroyed. They said they don't have money for Marvin's burial, so they set up a fund at 1 Detroit Credit Union HP. It's the Carter savings account.

People can drop off donated items at the Highland Park Fire Department.

Marvin's mother tried to speak in public for the first time Wednesday. Toletha Traylor's son and 13-year-old daughter were home alone while she worked the midnight shift.

City leaders are rallying around Traylor, as she couldn't bear to speak.

"There's no crime against leaving the children home alone at 12 and 13 years old," Highland Park Fire Chief Kevin Coney said.

Original story: 12-year-old boy killed

A family is mourning the loss of a 12-year-old boy after a fire in Highland Park.

The fire happened Monday morning near I-75 and the Davison. Two children were home alone. One child escaped, but one was killed.

The home is in the 200 block of Connecticut Street. The fire started about 5 a.m. Someone ran across the street to a neighbor's home about 5:10 a.m., according to the Detroit Fire Department.

The 911 call was made from the neighbor's home. The caller said there were children trapped inside the house fire. Marvin was found on the third floor of the home. 

The boy's 13-year-old sister suffered burns and smoke inhalation. She escaped from the second floor. 

Officials said the siblings were home alone at the time of the fire. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation. A space heater may be to blame. The fire appears to have started on the second floor and spread to the third floor. 

Detroit firefighters, Detroit police officers and Highland Park police officers all responded to the fire. 

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