Community lends money, support to family devastated by fire

The fire killed three people, while a grandmother was able to escape. (Photo: Prince George's County Fire)

Family, friends and Hyattsville residents came together Thursday to support a family after a house fire killed three family members, including a child.

More than $6,000 have been raised towards a memorial fund for 6-year-old Omari Noel. The boy, his mother and elderly aunt died from injuries suffered in a Sunday morning fire in Lewisdale.

The boy’s grandmother Merle Munroe is the lone survivor of the house fire. Munroe came to greet the county officials and neighbors.

The Prince George's county firefighters who responded to the call and tried to save the victims were collecting furniture and donations for the surviving relatives.

"We were doing CPR,” said Nick Hemingway, who called it “one of the worst calls I've had so far"

Munroe told attendees that the family donated organs from her daughter and grandson, the fire department said in a news release.

Investigators believe an overloaded power strip caused the fire.

"It was just heart aching, we have children... pay our respects for the family,” said Roselyn Goodall, a neighbor who was awakened by the sounds of sirens that morning.

The family's brick home did not have working smoke detectors.

"Just the fact that there were no smoke detectors... (A fire is) so easy to prevent," Goodall said.

The fundraiser was coordinated by the Prince George's County Police, the Lewisdale Elementary School and the Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department.

Household items, furniture and clothes were also donated.

Checks can be made payable to the Munroe Family Memorial Fund and mailed to:
Munroe Family Memorial Fund
c/o Bank of America
7370 Baltimore Avenue
College Park, MD 20740