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Family Friends Raising Funds For Victims Of Deadly House Fire

A memorial formed outside the home of a Guatemalen family on Academy Street Thursday Jan. 3. Two children died from their injuries from a fire at the home.
Nick de la Canal
/
WFAE
A memorial formed outside the home of a Guatemalen family on Academy Street Thursday Jan. 3. Two children died from their injuries from a fire at the home.

A Guatemalan family devastated by a deadly house fire in east Charlotte is receiving help from friends and strangers who are raising funds on their behalf.

The fire, which started in the early morning hours on Jan. 2, engulfed the one-story home at 1923 Academy Street with 10 people inside. The Charlotte Fire Department says the cause was likely an unattended candle in the living room. The medical examiner’s office confirmed two children had died because of the blaze. 

Seven people were brought to the hospital, including four children. Authorities confirmed that an 8-year-old boy named Leonel Villagrez died from his injuries. On Thursday, the father of the children, Clementino Mendez-Dominguez, told The Charlotte Observer his 2-year-old daughter, Aranza Sanchez, had also died around 11 p.m. Wednesday from her injuries. 

Two other adults, 22-year-old Leticia Mendez-Dominguez and 26-year-old Santiago Juarez-Dominguez, were also hospitalized with minor to serious burns, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

A GoFundMe page established by a friend of the family, Monica Del Cid, had raised more than $750 for the family as of Friday afternoon. 

Online donations would be used to transport the bodies of the two children back to Guatemala for burial, according to the site.