CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) — Around 5:30 Monday morning on October 16th an unthinkable tragedy struck one home on Grover Street in Springfield. A deadly fire took the life of 18-year-old Janayrah Rivera and critically injured two of her siblings.
It’s been a really difficult week for this Springfield family. Janayrah Rivera was a recent graduate of Putnam High School. With her family members still struggling through this unfathomable event, the community is coming together to help.
22News spoke with the mother of Janayrah, Michelle Quiles, who is now grieving the loss of her daughter, but also injuries to two of her other children. One of whom is now in the ICU at a hospital in Boston, “The family is mourning and it’s hard because not only is my daughter not here, but I have other kids that suffered through it. My son had to jump out the window, my other daughter is in Boston. So it’s hard.”
Just days after the fire, family, friends, and one local business, the Bull’s Eye Cafe in Chicopee, organized a fundraiser on Sunday to support the family affected. Hundreds of people have been filling the room, donating money, buying raffle tickets, food, and more, all to support the family. The fundraiser began at 12 p.m. and has run all afternoon.
“It wasn’t just family members,” expressed Ara Aseliz, the Cousin of Janayrah Rivera’s father, “We had people who didn’t even know the family come by and just have donations, so it means a lot.”
The family is still dealing with this heartbreaking tragedy, but now they are thankful to see all of the outpouring of support.
“I don’t wanna be here because this is hard and it makes it more real, but I am extremely humbled that everybody has come to love my babies and give them all this love,” expressed Quiles.
The Fundraiser has now wrapped up, but the family tells 22News that every dollar contributed to their GoFundMe is still much needed and appreciated.
A person of interest is still being sought in connection with the deadly fire. This man is thought to possibly be the culprit.
If anyone has any information people are being asked to reach out to Springfield Police at (413) 787-6300.
At 8 p.m. there was a vigil where the fire took place at 118 Grove Street in Springfield.