Fundraiser to honor the victims of fatal fire in Hamtramck

Dave Spencer previews a community fundraiser to help raise money for the Parker family which lost 4 out of 6 members of its family Monday due to a fire. 

The event will take place Sunday, February 22 from noon until 7 p.m. at Bert's Marketplace in Eastern Market.

The fire claimed the life father James Parker, his wife Fredye and sons James Jr., 11, and Jarred, 7, found in the upper level of the home on Yemans street. 

The boys' two older sisters were away at college and are now the surviving members of the family. A GoFundMe account has been set up by Detroit Police Athletic League for them and will also go toward paying funeral costs 

It started just before 2 a.m. Tuesday. The Justus family, who lives nearby, said that was when their lights flickered. They looked outside and immediately called 911. 

The cause is still unknown, said Chief Paul Wilk of the Hamtramck Fire Department.

Investigators say the house had a newer furnace and no space heaters were found. Now, Wilk is urging everyone to get a smoke detector, something Wilk said the family didn't have.

"Smoke detectors save lives," Wilk said. "We did not find any smoke detectors. It may have melted and fell on the floor. It's possible but I don't think they had smoke detectors." 

Firefighters say the family was likely asleep when the fire began but believe the family appeared to have tried to escape but was overcome by the smoke. 

First responders made it to the scene in time and were able to get inside the home, but they, too, were overwhelmed by the smoke and flames and were therefore unable to help rescue the family. 

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