An entire community is reeling today after a massive and intense house fire devastated a family, claiming the lives of 7 who were trapped inside, including 5 children, ranging in age from 1 to 14, as well as the family dog and cat.
According to Cleveland.com, authorities suspect it may have been arson.
Angela Boggs, 38, and her longtime boyfriend Dennis Huggins, 35, were killed along with their children Jered Boggs, 14; Daisia Huggins, 6; Kylle Huggins, 5; Alivia Huggins, 3; and Cameron Huggins, 1. The family’s dog also died in the fire, investigators said.
The person of interest who was arrested Monday has previous convictions for aggravated arson, arson and domestic violence, Portage County Common Pleas Court records show.
Angela Boggs obtained a protection order against the man after those charges were filed in 2001, court records show.
Brittany Boggs, 18, was not at home when the fire started. She set up a GoFundMe campaign asking for help paying for the upcoming funerals:
On May 15th 2017 I lost everything and everyone I had. My mom, step dad, cat, dog and my 5 younger siblings in a house fire. I have nothing towards their funeral expenses and desperately need all of you guys help. Im reaching out to everyone to get the help I need seeing I have to bury 7 people. Please if you could donate anything to me as this time is very rough I will appreciate anything!! Please share.
Local news in Akron caught up with 18-year-old Brittany earlier today. Her words are gut-wrenching:
“I’m trying to deal with it the best way that I can, but it is hard. I’ve been crying a lot,” the 18-year-old told FOX 8 News on Tuesday. “I’m in shock.”
“I’ll never get to hug my mom or brothers and sisters… They were everything to me.”
Boggs wasn’t in the house because she recently started her summer job at Cedar Point.
“I wish I was there. I feel like things could have been different. I could have thrown the babies out of the window. But I mean, that’s how I think. In my mind, I want to believe I could have saved them,” Boggs said.
“I’m only 18 and I’m burying my mother and my five little brothers and sisters. And I don’t have the funds for it. Never did I think I was going to be planning funerals at 18 years old,” Boggs said.
There will be a candlelight vigil for the victims Saturday. Funeral arrangements are pending.
According to authorities, the fire started near the front of the house and rapidly turned into a full force fire, engulfing the entire home. Those trapped inside had no opportunity to escape.
The investigation is ongoing.
For now, the remaining family are asking for prayers. “I have no more tears, there’s nothing left I can say or do, I just, I just want my family you know, I just want my family,” said Dwayne Huggins, the brother of one of the victims.
If you’d like to help Brittany and her extended family pay for the funerals, you can contribute HERE.
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