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Area rallying around family

Vigil planned tonight for home fire victims

WARREN — A deadly New Year’s Day fire has sent shockwaves throughout the community.

Cassandra Gray and her 5-year-old son, Otto, were killed in the fire around 3:15 a.m. at 2853 Woodland St. NE.

In an effort to raise money for the family, a GoFundMe was created making an immediate impact.

Almost overnight, $100,000 was raised and as of 5 p.m. Saturday, more than $130,000 has been donated to the “Lee Gray Family Emergency and Memorial Fund” from more than 1,300 people — and the donations keep flooding in.

Ten people so far have donated $1,000 or more, according to the GoFundMe site.

According to a Trumbull County 911 report, initial calls indicated the fire was at the back of the house and the garage.

Lee Gray and his 7-year-old son, Simon, were able to escape before Warren firefighters arrived. They were taken to St. Joseph Warren Hospital, where they were treated and released.

No new information was available Saturday night and the fire is still under investigation by the state fire marshal, according to the Warren Fire Department.

Cassandra Gray worked at Salvatore’s Italian Grill in Howland. When asked, a representative from the restaurant declined to comment to “honor the family’s request.”

The restaurant closed all day Friday and reopened again Saturday.

Also, a candlelight prayer vigil will be held 6 p.m. today on the cul-de-sac located near 781 Fairway Drive. A no-contact drop box will be there to leave clothes and shoes for Simon, who wears a size 6 and shoe size 10.

A social media post states the vigil will be a “time of prayer, reflection and to offer our request to God to strengthen the Gray family during this time. We encourage people to bring a candle to light, leave or to hold.”

It also states, “Social distancing will be practiced and we ask that you please do not interact closely with members of other households. In addition, do not park on the cul-de-sac directly and if you live close, try to walk to the site to avoid congestion.”

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