Mother, 5-year-old son die in blaze

Father, 7-year-old boy escape house fire early New Year’s morning

Staff photo / Andy Gray A stuffed bear and a flower were left in the yard of a house at 2853 Woodland St. NE, Warren, where a fire killed a 5-year-old boy and his mother early Friday.

WARREN — The city had no fire fatalities in 2020. It had two before the first sunrise of 2021.

A mother and her 5-year-old son were killed and two others suffered minor injuries in a house fire early Friday morning at 2853 Woodland St. NE.

“We got a call around 3:15 a.m. for a reported structure fire,” Warren Assistant fire Chief Bill Monrean said.

According to a Trumbull County 911 report, initial calls indicated the fire was at the back of the house and the garage. Monrean said the fire still is under investigation, and he did not say where the fire started or where the two victims were found.

“On arrival the crew found a fully involved structure with reports of somebody inside,” Monrean said. “They made several rescue attempts.”

The father and a 7-year-old boy were able to escape the house before firefighters arrived. They were taken to St. Joseph Warren Hospital, where they were treated and released.

The state Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the fatal fire. The house is a total loss.

The names of the victims have not been released. However, the Trumbull County Auditor’s website lists the house as being owned by Lee Gray, and a GoFundMe campaign was started Friday to raise money for the Lee Gray Family Emergency and Memorial Fund. More than $100,000 was collected from more than 1,000 donors in the campaign’s first eight hours.

Jean Sebben, who lives next door at 2839 Woodland St. NE, said she woke up to the sound of someone yelling.

“I looked out the bedroom window and saw the fire and called 911,” she said. “They said they already had a call and were on their way out.”

Sebben described the fire as horrific.

“The blaze was intense,” she said. “I’m just still trying to wrap my head around it. I prayed and prayed and prayed that everyone would get out OK.”

Gray purchased the house in 2008, according to the auditor’s website, and Sebben said they had been neighbors for at least 10 years.

“They were a good, young couple, very family oriented, very much into their kids,” she said. “I would see them outside playing with them. They were just a good, good family.”


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