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Ohio man plans burial for 2 of his grandchildren after family loses everything in fire

When an Ohio mother thought her life was headed in the right direction, things got worse after her house caught fire. She spent the next few days in hospital as her four children fought for their lives.

Sometimes fate tests us by putting us in situations we are not prepared for. Hardships can take the form of a financial crisis, a health problem or the death of a loved one.

The family in today’s story spent days praying for the four children who were fighting for their lives in hospital. The children were stuck in a difficult situation before firefighters rescued them. What happened next was something the family never anticipated.

Thick black smoke

Dadrickrica Ellison’s worst nightmare began on September 17, 2022, when her daughter’s apartment in West Chester, Ohio caught fire. What drew neighbors’ attention to the apartment was thick black smoke billowing from the windows.

In no time, firefighters arrived at the apartment, but no one was sure how many people were trapped inside. Around 12:20 p.m., firefighters began to put out the fire to help residents. A neighbor remembers:

“It was so scary that I was crying. I was afraid my house would burn down.”


A few minutes later, the firefighters come out of the apartment with three children aged six, four, two and a nine-month-old baby. They immediately transferred the victims to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, while their mother cried after watching her children.

A neighbour’s child, who wished to remain anonymous, said he had nightmares after the incident.

Doctors immediately began treating the four children as their mother prayed with her father, Ellison, in the hospital waiting room. It was a tragedy the family did not see coming.

Inside the hospital

As the mother prayed for her four children, authorities investigated the cause of the fire. According to the state fire marshal’s office, the cause remains unknown, but they learned that the children were not in the same room where the fire started.

Doctors told Ellison and her daughter that the children were unwell because they had inhaled a lot of smoke. Two days later, the family’s life changed when the doctor told them something unexpected.

Two-year-old Alaiya Encarnacion and four-year-old Bryson Brooks succumbed to their injuries on September 20, 2022. Doctors did their best but couldn’t do anything after the children closed their eyes forever.

The devastated family

Ellison and her daughter were devastated after learning of the two deaths. As Ellison tried to control his emotions, his daughter was shocked. Ellison said:

“She’s shaking when she talks. This is the first time I’ve seen my daughter not eat.”

“I am the male figure in my family,” Ellison said while explaining that he needed to be strong for the sake of his family. He felt that his “family could break or crumble” if he collapsed.

Lose it all

Since the family had lost everything in the fire, Ellison created a GoFundMe page to raise money for his grandchildren’s funeral and medical expenses. He said:

“She [his daughter] just got back to town, grounding his life, getting his life back on track. This [incident] came out of nowhere.”

Meanwhile, the eldest child, Brayden, was released from hospital, while the youngest, Aaliyah, remained in critical condition. The horrific incident had broken the hearts of the family.

The horrible incident

According to neighbors, Ellison’s daughter was not home and arrived at her apartment after it caught fire. Authorities also confirmed that no adults were in the home that afternoon. West Chester Fire Chief Rick Prinz said:

“Paramedics and firefighters did everything they could to give these kids a fighting chance.”

A neighbour’s child, who wished to remain anonymous, said he had nightmares after the incident. It was hard for the boy to forget what he witnessed that afternoon, but he continued to pray for the family.


As the children’s family, friends and neighbors were horrified after learning of the deadly fire, netizens shared messages of support. Here are some of the comments from the WSAZ NewsChannel3 Facebook post:

“They were just babies!!! So so sad.”

― (@Brenda Parsons) September 21, 2022

“OMG this is so sad. Prayers for the other two.”

― (@Cindy Cooper) September 22, 2022

“Prayers go up for the family.”

― (@Greg Parker) September 22, 2022

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of these four children. We send our deepest condolences to the family as they deal with the pain of this tragedy.

Click here to read another heartbreaking story about a mother and her three children who died overnight in a deadly fire.


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