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Memorial formed for young boy killed in house fire

Memorial formed for young boy killed in house fire

By Spencer Lubitz. CREATED May 4, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The community continues to mourn following a devastating fire that killed a little boy and left his brother badly burned.

Neighbors told Action News the home where the fire happened, near Fremont Street and Oakey, had just become vacant.

But officials said the young boys managed to make their way inside, lighting fireworks and sparking a fire which eventually killed 7-year-old Jacob West.

A memorial has now formed to honor the young boy; neighbors have placed flowers, candles and stuffed animals.

"Lots of people coming in and out, paying their respects to the family, just prayers for the family because it's really hard," said Luci Rodriguez.

Many of the mourners were complete strangers, but for Rodriguez's daughter, the connection is much deeper.

"My daughter went to the same school and their classes are connected. So she's seen him on the bus, at the cafeteria," explained Rodriguez.

Investigators said the brothers were playing with fireworks in the recently abandoned home when things got out of control; the fire spread and Jacob was killed.

Neighbors told Action News they don't want the young boy's passing to be in vain. They're using his death to teach their own young children about fire safety.

"Even as busy as we are as parents, always try to take time, always, because we never know what's going to happen," said Rodriguez.

In addition to taking time out to teach her own kids, Rodriguez will be saying a prayer for Jacob's parents, "It just makes me tear up because to know that little boy, his parents will never see him grow up, never see him graduate, get married. It's just really sad."

Action News tried speaking to family members, but they have asked for privacy.

Since investigators determined the fire was accidental, they said there will be no criminal charges filed. But neighbors still have questions about how the kids got a hold of illegal fireworks.

Spencer Lubitz

Spencer Lubitz

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Spencer Lubitz is a general assignment reporter for Action News.