Idaho

Services set for Boise mom, 2 children who died in house fire; GoFundMe tops $6,400

What to do if there’s a fire in your home

If you have a fire in your home, the advice is simple, according to Sacramento Fire Department: Get out, stay out, call 911. Don’t try to put the fire out yourself. And never go back into a building on fire. Have a plan and practice with your family.
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If you have a fire in your home, the advice is simple, according to Sacramento Fire Department: Get out, stay out, call 911. Don’t try to put the fire out yourself. And never go back into a building on fire. Have a plan and practice with your family.

Two Boise children who died in a fire on July 8 had just returned from a week visiting family in Salmon, a family friend told the Statesman on Tuesday.

Ryker Sanchez, 12, and Rylee Sanchez, 9, and their mother, Jana Cullen, 43, died in an early-morning fire at a house they rented on Leadville Avenue last week. There were no working smoke detectors in the house.

It was the deadliest fire in the city since at least 2001, a Boise Fire Department spokeswoman told the Statesman. That’s as far back as data is available at this time.

The kids’ father, Tony Sanchez, of Eagle, had dropped the children off at their mother’s home on Leadville just hours before they died, a close friend of the grieving father said.

“Honestly, it’s overwhelming what he has to face,” Katherine Gough said.

Both kids were students at Garfield Elementary School on Broadway Avenue; Ryker was going into 7th grade this fall, and Rylee was going into 4th grade. Gough praised the school counselors, other staff and parents who have been extremely supportive of the family. Grief services were available to children and families last week, according to a memo sent by Principal Darryl Gerber.

A funeral is planned for 11 a.m. Saturday at Ustick Baptist Church on 14301 W. McMillan Road in Boise. All are welcome at the service, where stories and memories will be shared. Summers Funeral Home in Meridian is handling arrangements.

A GoFundMe account for the Sanchez family has been set up by a parent at Garfield Middle School. By Tuesday, $6,400 had been raised, surpassing the goal of $5,000.

Investigators determined that the fire was caused by a failed heating element in a wax burner that set shelves ablaze. Now they are trying to determine why none of the five smoke detectors in the house were working; four were in a box, and one had a battery removed.

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