SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A community is grieving the loss of a 13-year-old boy who died in a house fire early Thursday morning in Scranton.
The tragedy is heartbreaking for the family and people who didn’t even know the teen. It’s such a devastating time for this family. They lost everything in their home and more importantly, 13-year-old Brandin Churmblo, a student at Northeast Scranton Intermediate. Neighbors say they want the family to know that they are not alone during this hard time.
“It was just devastating,” neighbor Jennifer Dacunta said.
Dacunta lives around the corner from where a house fire on Wayne Avenue in Scranton claimed the life of 13-year-old Brandin Churmblo. Jennifer’s daughter Megan Pompeo goes to the same school as Brandin, Northeast Scranton Intermediate.
“People were crying when I was about to go to after-school and in after-school,” Pompeo said.
The sixth-grader did not know Brandin, but she saw the pain of teachers and fellow classmates who did.
“I felt bad for my reading teacher though. She almost cried and her son was upset because he was friends with Brandin,” Pompeo said.
A woman who chose not to get on camera told Eyewitness News that her grandson was his friend and came home from school crying.
“My grandson grew up with the little boy down at Neil Armstrong School and went to high school with him down at Northeast and the kids are all really hurt about what’s going on,” the woman said.
Principal Joseph Hanni sent out a letter saying that the community is heartbroken by the tragic death and their prayers are with the family. The letter also says counseling will be available for their grieving students.
“It’s hard for them,” the woman said.
A small memorial with flowers and pumpkins now sits outside the tragic scene. A message to the family, letting them know they are not alone.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family. You can find it here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/child-and-home-lost-in-devastating-fire.
The cause of the fire is still unknown. An investigation is underway.