City asks for donations to help mom who lost son in house fire

- A little boy dies in a raging house fire in Highland Park and his mother is beyond heart broken.

Toletha Traylor was overcome with emotion at a press conference Wednesday, too upset to talk.

Her son, 12-year-old Marvin Carter died when their home on Connecticut Street caught on fire early Monday morning. Marvin was a 6th grader at Bunch Academy - a 4.0 student who loved to play football.

"He was a helper, he helped quite a few of the neighbors out when they needed it," said Glenda McDonald a neighbor. "He smiled all the time. He was just a pleasant child."

Marvin and his 13-year-old sister Honesty, were home alone sleeping. Their mother was working the overnight shift.

"There's no crime against leaving your children home alone at 12 and 13 years old," said Marli Blackman, Highland Park city spokesperson. "She's a great mom and this is an unfortunate situation."

Honesty suffered from burns and smoke inhalation. Investigators believe a space heater may have caused the fire. While the makeshift memorial outside the burned out house grows, the city of Highland Park is asking for your help.

A bank account has been set up for the family at One Detroit Credit Union under the "Carter Savings Account." You can also drop off any type of donation at the Highland Park Fire Department.

"She's still faced with having to bury her son," said Blackman. "So anything you can give and donate would be amazing."

"This is a time for giving and celebration," said Chester Logan, Highland Park police chief. "As you might imagine there won't be much celebration right now. But as a community we're going to help them get through this."

And in hopes of preventing another tragedy, the city wants people in highland park to know the community can still get free smoke detectors from the fire department.

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