Two adults, one child die in East St. Louis house fire

Two adults, one child die in East St. Louis house fire



Bronx Apartment Building Fire Leaves 1 Dead, 3 Injured

Bronx Apartment Building Fire Leaves 1 Dead, 3 Injured


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — One man was killed and three other people were rushed to the hospital with minor injuries after a fire broke out early Sunday morning at a Bronx apartment complex, authorities said.

The blaze started around 2:30 a.m. at East 230th Street near White Plains Road in the Wakefield neighborhood, CBS2’s Ilana Gold.

Photos from the scene show tenants carrying some belongings and standing on their fire escapes at 2:30 a.m.

Firefighters say the flames were centralized to a third-floor unit.

Police say James Turtein, 36, was having a heart attack when he was found by firefighters. Emergency Medical Services transported him to Montefiore Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

A family who lived just a few doors down from the victim told Gold the man had just returned home Saturday after spending about a week in the hospital. Turtein was in a wheelchair and had limited mobility, they said.

The family said they could hear him yelling for help. They also said his teenage relative was in the apartment when the fire started and managed to escape.

They said the smoke on the third floor was smothering and that they could barely see.

“I saw smoke,” a woman said. “It was very dark. … And I woke up my son, and I grabbed all the necessary stuff.”

“My mom woke me up, and we ran to the kitchen window, where the fire escape was at, and went straight down the fire escape,” the woman’s son said. “I threw my little sister on my back and took her down the fire escape.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation. The fire marshal does not believe the cause of the fire is suspicious.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)




Kala Rama has the latest on Monday morning’s fire in Elmhurst that left six people hurt.

Six residents were injured, one seriously burned, in a second alarm house fire in the Elmhurst section of Queens early Monday.

The residents were inside the Ketcham Street home when heavy fire broke out just before 4:30 a.m.

The most seriously injured, a woman in her 30’s, suffered burns to her face and abdomen. She was rushed to the Cornell burn unit at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

The other residents, including a 12-year-old girl, were treated for smoke inhalation at Elmhurst Hospital. The six people inside were fast asleep and woke up to intense smoke in every room of the house.

Three firefighters were treated for minor injuries. One went to Elmhurst Hospital, the other two were treated at the scene.

Three firefighters were treated for minor injuries. One went to Elmhurst Hospital, the other two were treated at the scene.

The FDNY stopped the flames from spreading to several other homes, limiting the structures to exterior damage.

The flames were so intense they jumped to neighboring buildings, forcing people to climb down to safety from the fire escape.

Marvin Mercado was fast asleep with his friend Eman Villamin. She woke up to the loud sounds of popping and crackling, screamed for her aunt and realized they were trapped.

“She opened the door and there was a big fire already and we couldn’t get it out it was too close, and it’s so hot we were trapped in there,” said Villamin.

Firefighters received calls from multiple other buildings on the block of people in distress, but all residents got out safely.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

11 People Hurt in Williamsburg Apartment Fire

11 People Hurt in Williamsburg Apartment Fire, FDNY Says

By Gwynne Hogan and Aidan Gardiner  | November 30, 2015 10:46am

 A fire broke out in a Williamsburg apartment building, officials said.

A fire broke out in a Williamsburg apartment building, officials said.

DNAinfo/Gwynne Hogan

WILLIAMSBURG — Eleven people suffered minor injuries when a fire erupted at a Williamsburg apartment building Monday morning just as tenants were returning from their Thanksgiving vacation, officials and witnesses said.

They were hurt when flames burst out on the second floor of 314 S. Third St., near Keap Street, about 9:35 a.m., FDNY officials said.

“I just saw black smoke from the hallway,” said Elliot Pena, 33, who moved into his father’s sixth-floor apartment Sunday.

“There was no space to walk down the stairs. The smoke would’ve killed you,” Pena said.

Pena and others escaped the flaming building using the fire escape, he said.

About 106 firefighters brought the fire under control about 20:30 a.m., an FDNY spokesman said.

 Tenant Olivia Peebles holds cat Happy Birthday while her other cat, Science Fiction, hides after a fire.

Tenant Olivia Peebles holds cat Happy Birthday while her other cat, Science Fiction, hides after a fire.

Jane-Claire Quigley

One civilian suffered serious injuries while another six had minor injuries, FDNY officials said. Four firefighters were also had minor injuries, officials said.

They were treated at area hospital, officials said.

Jane-Claire Quigley, 28, was walking up to the building with her suitcases having just returned from the holiday weekend in California when she saw the fire trucks and immediately thought of her cats “Science Fiction” and “Happy Birthday.”

“They were under the bed. They were definitely scared,” said Quigley’s roommate, Olivia Peebles, 27.

“We’re so lucky,” she added.




By Thomas N. Warren

Fire escapes have been part of building construction and the fire service since the late 1800s. Fire escapes were originally intended to provide a second means of egress from a building in the event of a fire when the primary means of escape—internal stairwells—were compromised by fire or smoke. This concept was very well intentioned when conceived, and many lives were saved as a result of fire escapes.

As the decades passed, fire escapes were still attached to many buildings and exposed to the weather, causing them to be compromised in different ways. New building construction design does not incorporate fire escapes as part of emergency egress. Today, buildings use modern fire codes that contain provisions like rated stairwells, rated fire doors, fire protection systems such as sprinklers, fire detection systems, panic hardware on doors of proper widths, illuminated “EXIT” signs and the use of fire resistive materials to make occupants safer.

(1) This fire escape features a cage built around the drop ladder so a civilian won’t fall off. However, this may be make it more difficult for a firefighter wearing SCBA to climb. (Photos by Mike Ciampo unless otherwise noted.)


The old fire escapes were constructed of cast or wrought iron and were attached to buildings with either through bolting—most commonly found in wooden structures—or mortar bolting in masonry structures. Fire escapes are held together by welding, bolts/nuts, rivets, or a combination of the three. Regular inspection and maintenance will allow for almost indefinite reliable service. However, this is where we find the greatest problem for firefighters today. The vast majority of fire escapes that firefighters will encounter have not been inspected or maintained for many years, if ever. One of the major problems found on most is that they are rusting from not properly being protected by paint. Rust eats through the components and can cause a failure when weight is placed on a stair tread or platform. Placing your life in the integrity of a fire escape can have catastrophic implications. Firefighters should use fire escapes with great caution, and every fire department should develop a standard operating procedure (SOP) on their use.

Fire escapes fall into three basic designs, and all three are prevalent in most urban areas: The exterior stairway, the party wall balcony, and the standard fire escape.  These three designs have many common features and construction methods, but they are different in their appearance.

(2) For this damaged fire escape, the drop ladder is missing, and firefighters would need to use a portable ladder for access or egress.


Exterior Stairway Fire Escapes

The exterior stair fire escape is, as the name implies, a stairway that is attached to the exterior of a building that exits directly at ground level. Most of these fire escapes were constructed with some type of screen along the railings, landings, and stairs to provide for safer use. These fire escapes have wider landings and stairs than the other types of fire escapes because they were commonly installed in occupancies such as schools, places of public assembly, or in manufacturing settings. Often, there was a door or large window that would allow access to the fire escape from inside the building. On many larger multiple dwellings, they may exist in a shaft way or the throat of the building and also have access to the roof as well as the ground floor.


Party Wall Balcony Fire Escapes

This fire escape relies on the concept that an occupant fleeing smoke and fire can exit onto this fire escape and move horizontally across it to an adjoining apartment, and then enter that apartment and exit the building to safety. The fire escape will be constructed so that it runs across a firewall within the building. These fire escapes can join two apartments or in larger apartment buildings; one entire floor. In some cases, occupants may not be able to get to another apartment, trapping them on the fire escape, resulting in a need to be rescued by fire department ladders because there is no pathway to another floor level or ground level. Party wall balcony fire escapes are most typically found in older tenement style structures.


Standard Fire Escapes

This fire escape is the most common fire escape found in any American city. These fire escapes allow for access to all floors of the building as well as roof and ground access. The design incorporates a series of stairs, landings, gooseneck ladders (roof access), and dropping ladders or stairways for ground level access. Occupants can access these fire escapes usually through windows, and they can find a continual pathway to the ground or roof level. The gooseneck ladder is designed for access to the roof and is most often used by firefighters during ventilation operations. Use extreme caution when climbing these ladders; they are straight vertical ladders and normally located at the highest level of the building. Ensure you maintain a constant grip on the ladder and climb slowly and deliberately, putting your boots toward the outer rails. Bouncing up the center of the rung could cause a bent or failed rung or a slip-and-fall injury. The pathway used to exit from the fire escape to the ground is designed to maintain security for the occupants and, as such, must be activated to extend to the ground.

There are two popular designs of these pathways: The counter-balanced stairway and the drop ladder. The counter-balanced stairway consists of a stairway that is pivoted and held in place by weights, usually weighing several hundred pounds. In its normal state, the stairway is in the horizontal plane held in place by a latch. When the latch is activated, the stairway will swing down to the ground. This can be accomplished by a firefighter on the ground using a pike pole or by a fleeing occupant who puts his weight on the fire escape, which will drop the stairs.

(3) A rusted-out platform on this fire escape stair tower system caused a firefighter to fall through it at a working fire. Luckily, he was able to grab on to the window bars and stop himself from falling through while another firefighter came to his aide. (Photo by JJ Cassetta.)


The drop ladder is a vertical ladder that is attached to the outside of the fire escape landing that drops to the ground when activated. Like the counter-balanced stairway, the drop ladder fire escape can be activated by either an occupant on the fire escape by pulling it upward and releasing it from its holding hook or by a firefighter on the ground (in most cases). Firefighters should release the drop ladder by standing under the platform and reaching upward with a hook. If the ladder was to fall out of its track and fall outward, the firefighter would be out of the danger zone.


Time and Maintenance

There are two core problems with using fire escapes: Time and maintenance. We cannot stop the passage of time, and maintenance, being extremely expensive, all too often is ignored.

As a fire officer and incident commander, nothing would make me more anxious than seeing firefighters using fire escapes during firefighting operations. The stress that firefighting operations place on these old and deteriorating fire escapes goes well beyond their intended use and, after being exposed to the elements for up to 100 years, the odds are not on the firefighter’s side.

(4) This fire escape is attached to a wood frame structure recently covered in Stucco.


All three designs of fire escapes have the same potential for failure, and not one single design can be relied on to be more reliable than the others. They all suffer from rust, corrosion, rotting wood, cracked bricks or mortar joints, separated welds, freeze/thaw cycles, neglect, and improper maintenance. The result of these hazards are missing steps, missing bolts, separations, unreliable railing assemblies, compromised anchor points, separated drop ladder track guides, corrosion that prohibits drop ladders and stairways from being deployed and corroded rivets.

Firefighters should look closely at any fire escape before climbing it. Look for any separation of the fire escape from the exterior wall, missing steps, rust stains on the exterior of the building at the anchor points, bulging of any painted surface (indication of corrosion under the painted surface), handrails that are no longer in place or any twisted appearance of the landings and stair stringers. All of these signs will be readily apparent from the ground during daylight and should signal that the fire escape is compromised and unsafe to climb.

The more dangerous signs of a compromised fire escape may not be easy to identify, such as cracked mortar joints or moisture damaged wood at the anchor points. Firefighters should be aware that, when they choose to operate on a fire escape, they add considerable weight that was not intended when the fire escape was designed. A firefighter wearing all the required personal protective clothing, self-contained breathing apparatus, stretching hose, the weight of the water in the hose, nozzle reaction, forcible entry equipment, and backup firefighters may stress a fire escape to the point of collapse. It is important to note that many early fire codes require that fire escapes be constructed to design specifications for live loads of 100 pounds per square foot.

(5) This photo shows the ground floor landing with the vertical drop ladder, used for access to the ground.


A fire escape collapse can happen with little or no warning. Firefighters operating aerial devices should be mindful that striking the fire escape with the aerial device may trigger enough force, laterally or vertically, to cause the fire escape to collapse. When rescuing occupants or firefighters from fire escapes, placing ground ladders against the exterior wall of the building adjacent to the fire escape is the preferred method of ladder placement. Relying on our own equipment is always a better choice than placing your safety in the unknown integrity of a 70-year-old fire escape.

RELATED: Mike Ciampo on Fire Escapes ‖ John Flynn on Operating Safely on Fire Escapes ‖ Positioning Portable Ladders for Work on Fire Escapes

Fire escapes can also be compromised by factors other than time and maintenance. Many times, fire escapes are damaged by trucks moving around the building such as unloading dumpsters in the rear courtyards. Once the fire escape is struck, whether at the drop ladder or a landing on the second floor, the entire fire escape’s integrity is compromised because the entire fire escape is connected together as one unit. The truck will usually simply drive away and leave behind a damaged fire escape, unknown to anyone. Another problem for firefighters is the tendency of occupants to load fire escapes with potted plants, furniture, barbeque grills, bicycles, or anything else they want to store outside of their apartment. This added static load will continually stress a fire escape with additional weight for which it was not designed. Loading fire escapes with these types of items will also impede the movement of fleeing occupants and firefighting operations.

(6) On this fire escape, the safety railing is pulling out of the brick and mortar.


Many departments have SOPs regarding the use and inspection of fire escapes, but many departments do not. The formal inspection of fire escapes usually falls under the jurisdiction of the local building department. Permits for repairs and modifications are issued through local building departments; this presents a problem when the building department is not advising the fire department of permits being issued for repairs or modifications and, more importantly, inspection records of failed fire escapes. The result is that firefighters are often left in the dark about the status of the fire escapes in their district.

The best way to avoid being surprised when responding to buildings equipped with fire escapes is to perform simple observation inspections as part of your company drill program. Training time can be devoted to checking the fire escapes in your district for the visible hazards that can be seen while walking around a building; you don’t even have to enter the building.

(7) Example of a counter-balanced stairway.


You will be surprised about the amount of information that can be gained from spending some time looking at fire escapes and identifying some of the hazards that firefighters need to know about. As long as fire escapes are attached to buildings, occupants will use them during fires, leaving firefighters as the ones who will be responsible to manage fire escape rescue operations. The more you know about the fire escapes in your district, the better off you will be when the time comes to manage these types of rescue operations.



1. Dunn V. Collapse of Burning Buildings. Fire Engineering Books & Videos.


Thomas N. Warren has more than 40 years of experience in the fire service in both career and volunteer departments. He retired as assistant chief of department of the Providence (RI) Fire Department after 33 years of service. Presently he is a faculty member at Bristol Community College in the Fire Science Technology Program teaching a variety of subjects in the fire science discipline. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in fire science from Providence College, an Associate’s Degree in business administration from the Community College of Rhode Island and a Certificate in Occupational Safety and Health from Roger Williams University.


More Thomas N. Warren

Buildings checked for code violations

Housing inspectors sweep through student enclaves

Buildings checked for code violations

Inspectional Services chief William Christopher and spokeswoman Lisa Timberlake examined a dwelling on Chester Street in Allston where inspectors found more than 30 violations on Sunday.


Inspectional Services chief William Christopher and spokeswoman Lisa Timberlake examined a dwelling on Chester Street in Allston where inspectors found more than 30 violations on Sunday.

Students have begun arriving in Boston’s college neighborhoods, and so have the inspectors in orange vests.

About 50 inspectors with the city’s Inspectional Services Department joined transportation, code enforcement, public works, and neighborhood development workers Sunday, in an annual public ritual of inspecting apartments during the city’s biggest moving week of the year.

During one stop at 74 Chester St. in Allston, city employees were concerned that too many tenants were crowding into the dwelling. Les Christos, a 30-year-housing inspector constable, began to check the windows, and their locks, and noticed a broken sash cord. A stain in the ceiling. Then he noticed there was no stove.

The tenants told him they haven’t had one for two months, and that the building manager had told them cooking is overrated.

“This is pretty bad,” Christos said of the conditions. “You don’t have a stove, you got some water leaks, the kitchen fan is all greasy . . . that can cause a fire.”

The goal of the annual blitz, city officials said, is for inspectors to interact with new students and residents and offer services, to make sure the moving-in process is smooth and trash-free, and that housing — particularly off-campus housing for students — is safe and up to code.

The inspectors also publicized the city’s new 311 program, which allows residents to call the number 311 or download a related app to report any city violations.

“The message is going to be one of cooperation and support, to make sure the students who come in here have a good experience,” said William “Buddy” Christopher, commissioner of Boston’s Inspectional Services Department, who joined his staff on inspections Sunday.

But some are skeptical of the mass inspections, which typically occur at the start of each school year and can appear more symbolic than strategic. The critics say more inspections — and citations of properties that violate city rules — are needed.

City housing inspectors found more than 30 violations at one building on Chester Street in Allston.


City housing inspectors found more than 30 violations at one building on Chester Street in Allston.

Such oversight has taken on new importance following concerns that students were living in dilapidated units. A Boston Globe Spotlight investigation in 2014 found that the city’s college neighborhoods were riddled with dangerously overcrowded units that went unnoticed, leading to public safety problems. Landlords, meanwhile, had ignored violations so that they could continue to collect rent with little investment.

The Spotlight report centered in large part on the death of Binland Lee, a 22-year-old Boston University student who was killed in a fire in 2013 after getting trapped in her attic bedroom, in an apartment in Allston that had insufficient exits and a faulty fire alarm system.

City officials, responding to the newspaper’s report, identified 589 properties that appeared to be in violation of a city zoning amendment that prohibits more than four full-time undergraduates from sharing an apartment, but critics said the city has still failed to do more to penalize landowners.

Kevin Carragee, co-president of the Hobart Park Neighborhood Association, moved into his Brighton neighborhood in 1989, and he said the city needs a year-round, proactive strategy to ensure safe and quality housing for students, and also for long-term residents who call these neighborhoods home.

“This is a fall ritual,” he said, “But I think the question for people in Allston and Brighton where a lot of residents live is whether a systematic approach to substandard housing can be taken.”

Christopher said that he spoke with Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Sunday, and that the mayor has been monitoring the inspection process. He said that the city has increasingly engaged students and landlords in the last year, and that both have been receptive.

He said students are told to call housing inspectors when they have problems, because “as soon as we get involved, things get done quickly.”

Christopher said one critical message to students has been that “we don’t throw students out because landlords aren’t taking care of their property.” But, he said, the purpose is to have landlords resolve code violations.

At times, that can depend on tenants. Another inspector at the house on Chester Street found that two bedrooms in the basement blocked exits and had the wrong size windows. The inspector also had concerns about the fire escape, which lacked an up-to-date inspection certificate. There were at least a dozen rat burrows in the backyard, and the basement of the dwelling smelled of cat urine.

The tenants received a violation for not keeping the place clean. There were liquor bottles and other trash around the house. They started cleaning immediately.

Housing inspectors said rats burrowed into this building on Chester Street in Allston.


Housing inspectors said rats burrowed into this building on Chester Street in Allston.

David Hsu, 24, moved into the house last year. He said he knew there were some issues with the house but didn’t realize it was so bad.

As he stood in his bedroom doorway and spoke to a reporter Sunday, the ceiling above him began to leak and form a puddle. During the winter, there was no heat for three weeks, he said.

“We try to get in contact with property managers there and they’re slow to respond,” Hsu said. “They’d say they’ll come to fix it but no one would show up. A lot of people just gave up.”

The owner of the property is Michael Polacco, who has a history of building code violations, according to city records.

Polacco could not be reached for comment Sunday.

Alp Kantar, property manager with Boston Property Management, said that the company inspected the place two weeks ago, and that he told the tenants to clean the place.

“It’s kind of embarrassing,” he said in a phone interview. “This is the first time I’m facing this.”

Kantar said he did not know about the leaks in the house or the roughly one dozen rat burrows in the backyard, but he was thankful the city brought those and other issues to his attention.

“I wish they would do this more often, not just the day before Sept. 1, that way property managers can be more active about it. We’re not perfect,” Kantar said.

Christopher also said the property owner, though he did not identify Polacco, will be cited beginning Monday for at least 30 violations at the property.

Milton J. Valencia can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MiltonValencia. Jan Ransom can be reachedf Follow her on Twitter @Jan_Ransom.

5 injured in Yonkers apartment fire

5 injured in Yonkers apartment fire


 – An overloaded power strip caused a fire that injured five people in a Yonkers apartment building early Friday.

Two residents were plucked from a sixth-floor fire escape when a blaze broke out in their apartment shortly after 5 a.m. as a result of an overwhelmed power strip in the living room, Deputy Chief Kevin Ford said.

One of the residents and four firefighters were injured.

Firefighters responded to the seven-story apartment building at 200 Valentine Lane and fought the blaze for about an hour.

“As bad as the fire was, it was contained to the fire apartment,” Ford said. “The guys did an amazing job. They got in quick and they knocked it down.”

Firefighters had to call in extra manpower to cut a hole in the roof due to heavy smoke in the attic area, but the fire had not spread.

One of the residents was taken to St. John’s Riverside Hospital, citing minor difficulty breathing. His wife accompanied him to the hospital but was not injured.

Three firefighters had minor injuries, and the fourth was taken to Westchester Medical Center with elevated carbon-monoxide levels.

Ford said only the

two residents needed to be relocated and that the adjoining apartments only suffered minor water damage and were fine for occupancy. The local Red Cross was working to relocate the residents.

Map:Yonkers fire

Apartments condemned after fire

Apartments condemned after fire

West Hazleton officials condemned the second-floor apartments where a small fire occurred Wednesday evening, displacing more than a dozen people, an assistant chief with the borough fire department said Thursday.

Era Gould said the fire was contained to a small porch and fire escape at 6½ E. Broad St. The damage to the fire escape was the reason for condemnation, he said, as the tenants had no means of egress.

The American Red Cross is assisting three families, a total of 14 people, with temporary lodging and food, spokesman Dave Skutnik said.

Code enforcement was expected to return to do a full inspection as other code violations were noticed at the building, Gould said.

Code enforcement officer Diane Panzarella said Thursday that she was drafting a notice of violation to the building owner, who will have rectify the problems before the tenants can return.

She noted an emergency exit light wasn’t working and light covers were missing, but she said she did not inspect the apartments. Panzarella plans to do so, but when the tenants are there, she said.

The businesses on the first floor were not damaged in the fire, Gould said.

Teen falls to his death from fire escape

Teen falls to his death from fire escape on Uptown condo building

16-year-old Blake Fannin fell to his death while on the well-worn escape late at night; a friend with him was not hurt.


One of two teenage boys exploring a well-worn fire escape on the side of an Uptown condominium building fell four stories to his death, his father said Thursday.

On the weekend before he was to start 11th grade at Minneapolis Southwest High School, Blake Fannin fell early Sunday from what his father said was a fire escape that appeared to be in need of maintenance.

The seven-unit brick building, at 2501 Girard Avenue S., is about a block from where Fannin lived with his mother.

The ladder “swung out and he fell,” Kevin Fannin, who lives in Florida, said of the fire escape, which he has seen and described as rusted and “in bad disrepair.”

The father acknowledged that Blake and the other boy, who was not hurt, “probably shouldn’t have been doing what they had been doing,” but if the fire escape was in “decent shape, this wouldn’t have happened. … If they had a fire and they had to use it, no way.”

The building has two fire escapes, and both appeared well rusted Thursday, with chunks of metal missing. The ladder on the fire escape from which Blake Fannin had been on was jutting out at the top Thursday, but resident Vaughn Ormseth said the ladder was much closer to the building on the afternoon after the teen fell.

Resident Manly Zimmerman, an attorney, has been designated as a spokesman for the 100-year-old building’s occupants, and he had little to say about the circumstances surrounding Fannin’s death or the upkeep of the property.

“It’s unfortunate, I feel very badly for the family,” said Zimmerman, who added that “I’m not talking to you as a lawyer. I’m talking to you as a resident.”

Zimmerman said he’ll leave it up to the city to disclose the building’s maintenance history. However, owner-occupied condos such as this one are not subject to municipal inspection. There would be inspections required if the building included rented units.

“If any one of the individual condo units were rented, then that unit and the building would be subject to inspection,” said Mike Rumppe, the city’s deputy director of housing inspections. “That’s not the case here.”

Zimmerman said he was unaware that the building is not inspected by the city. He said, “We’re certainly going to do something about” the two fire escapes, though he was not sure yet what actions might be taken.

Kevin Fannin said Blake moved from Virginia to the East Isles neighborhood when he was 7 with his mother and embraced many athletic activities, most firmly basketball. He played on traveling teams in Minnesota and on squads near his father’s home in the summer.

A memorial fund established in Blake’s memory has been established with a goal of raising $10,000 to help pay basketball fees for families who can’t afford the cost. In less than a week, nearly $3,000 has been pledged.

“He didn’t believe city leagues should charge money,” Kevin Fannin said. “They may charge $25, but there are kids who cannot pay.”

While Blake’s home was in a “pretty affluent area,” Kevin Fannin was impressed that his son “had friends from all walks of life … from very poor areas and who were challenged in life. But somehow he brought them together.”

Along with his father, Blake Fannin is survived by his mother, Twylia Fannin, brother Eli Fannin, and stepbrothers Kalil and Akil Cole. A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, 900 Mount Curve Blvd., Minneapolis. Contributions can be made to “Blake’s Basketball Scholarship” at