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April 7, 2006

The Rosado Kids (Updated)

Topics: News
William Rosado embraces firefighter Mark Neal, who dived into the burning mobile home (tbo.com).

William (Will) Rosado couldn't stop his tears Wednesday when he saw Tampa firefighter Mark Neal. Only the night before Rosado's 3-year-old son, Gavin Orion Rosado, had died when flames and smoke swept through the mobile home he shared with his wife Lisa and their two children.

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Three-year-old Gavin Rosado died in the fire that ravaged the home (tbo.com)

His 23-month-old son, Sebastian, now lies in critical condition, clinging to life in Tampa General Hospital. The mobile home and all of his family's wordly possessions were destroyed by the fire. Now they can only pray that Sebastian can hang on and survive the burns over 30% of his little body and the damage to his lungs from smoke inhalation.

Upon meeting Neal, Rosado hugged him and broke down in tears:

(tbt.com) "Thank you," Rosado, 33, told Neal, as he crumpled into his arms.

It was Neal who pulled the lifeless body of Gavin Rosado from trailer No. 113 at Britts Mobile Home Park, at 3125 W Hillsborough Ave. Neal, who has a 2-year-old son, cried as he embraced Rosado.

In his hands, Rosado clutched a wooden plaque that had a picture of a young boy and the partial Bible text, "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for.'' He had salvaged it from the charred remains.

Rosado spoke of his surviving son, Sebastian, who is in Tampa General. " He's really bad. I'm hoping he pulls through it, because I don't want to bury two babies this weekend. Just one is enough."

I spent much of today at the hospital with the family as they waited to hear word about Sebastion and struggled with their grief over the loss of Gavin. However, while Sebastion and Gavin rested heavily on their shoulders and occupied most of their thoughts, there were brief moments when their thoughts drifted to other concerns, like the frustration they felt over some of the inaccurate information that has been reported in the news media, inaccuracies like the statement in today's tbo.com article: "Rosado and the children's mother, Lisa Smith, told investigators that they had been burning candles to save on their electric bill. The cause of the fire has not been determined."

In addressing this particular remark as he read it to me from the article, Will Rosado, obviously frustrated and with tears in his eyes, said that he had no idea how reporters could have misquoted comments he made in the midst of just having had his children pulled from the fire.

I don't know where the reporters got that from, ... I never said that.

I only said that I didn't know, that I had lit a candle earlier before we went to bed ... my girl and I usually just sit together a little while before we go to bed ...we like the candle light ... everyone knows I'm super hyper about making sure everything is off all the time, my girl and me are always very vigilant about our sons' safety. I'm almost a fanatic about things like that ... about the overall safety of our children.

Everyone knows I never try to save electricity... I only worry about my kids! Candles for electricity? .... Crazy!

We'd been having electrical problems there... One night when we were watching TV everything on the left side of the trailer went off ... later, the electrician .. the landlord called a electrician in, and they fixed a wire or something back in the boy's room. I was frantic and upset when whoever was asking me questions, my kids were in the fire.. Why would the reporter say that stuff?

The fire department or the police, ask dad .. called him and told it that it was faulty wiring of an appliance or from the trailer.

Tragically, the family was already in the process of moving to be closer to Lisa's family in another county, and would have been out of the trailer in just two more days.

Donations for the family will be administered through a local church organization that routinely works with families in crisis. A website with a PayPal link is expected to be up in the next 24 hours, and linked to by Hyscience, ProLifeBlogs and Freedom's Zone. Several other blogs have already expressed a willingness to post on the story and the link - and we hope that as many bloggers as possible will join us in getting the word out. The family's needs are significant, and their tragedy is truly gut-wrenching.

Update: The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is accepting donations in behalf of the family - at Rosadokids.org.

Cross-posted: Hyscience

Posted by tim at April 7, 2006 10:47 AM

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