Gina, Shaun and Joshua

How did three people die in this house and one get out without a burn on his body?

It wasn't until the end of August, when we were allowed into the house, that I realized the truth — my son-in-law had murdered my kids.

Before I walk you through Gina's house — I want you to imagine going into your own house after it has been on fire — everything is black, like some one has used spray paint — I want you to smell the smoke — you know the kind of smell that comes from something getting really hot — to smell the mustiness from everything being wet — the kind of smell that you can almost see the mold growing from the dampness — smell the staleness from the house being closed up for almost three months — I want you to visualize going into the room where your loved one sleeps — maybe it's the room of your mother, sister, father, brother, your children, or your wife. I want you to picture where they sleep — visualize their bed — I want you to picture the agony and nightmare they would experience if all exits of their room were blocked because of a fire. I want you to concentrate on that room, those smells, the darkness, and the knowledge that your loved one died in this house.

My first impression of the devastation to the house was unbelievable - it was so black - the smoke damage was unbelievable.

The basement was completely intact — you could tell there had been a lot of water that had gone into the basement from the fire hoses — but nothing was burned.

On the main floor — no fire had reached the kitchen which was in the back of the house; however, the heat had gotten so hot that the microwave door had melted; in the dining room, the carpet was not burnt, the fish tank's top had melted from the heat but the water was still in the tank (we had been told by the firemen that the fish lived through the fire); Joshua's high chair was melted but his dressing table was intact as was the desk and dining table and chairs.

The living room was totally gutted; the only things left in that room were the frame and springs of the couch; the coffee table stayed standing but the glass was missing.

The stair well going upstairs was burnt. However, the molding on the stair well was still in tack — the fire had gone right up the middle of the stairs (following the directions of the powered path). At the top of the stairs the fire turned and went right into Gina's bedroom. The door was burnt very badly.

Upstairs - the master bedroom — where Gina and Shaun were found — was a site to see — the furniture all standing — nothing burnt — just smoke and heat damaged; — and, of course, there was the blackness. The water remained in the water bed; the clothes in the drawers were not damaged to any great extent - in fact when opening some drawers it looked like the clothes had just been put away.

The hallway was intact with no fire damage to the rug except at the top of the stairs.

The bathroom had very bad smoke damage and had been torn up pretty badly by the firefighters.

The boys room had smoke damage; Joshua's bottle still was in the crib; the outline of his little body was clear on the mattress because the rest of the mattress was black from the smoke.

The outside of the house was completely intact — not even the roof had been burnt through.

How did three people die in this house and one get out without a burn on his body? It became clear to me that there was no way that my son-in-law could have ever been upstairs asleep — there was no way he would have ever made it down the steps — the steps that had been the major part of the fires path. It wasn't until I saw the blackness that I understood the panic and fear that had existed in that master bedroom. My daughter crawling to the window and fighting to get help; battling to save her sons. It wasn't until I saw the blackness that I understood the terror that my oldest grandson knew as he tried to crawl under the bed — trying to reach his puppy dog.

When I left that tomb of my daughter and grandsons — I knew my son-in-law had lit the match that had started the fire that caused their deaths.

This page last modified Sunday, March 11, 2007
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