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Family friends react to Kentwood house fire where 2 girls died

12-year-old Ashlee and 19-year-old Nety were said to have died in the Monday morning fire, according to close family friends.

KENTWOOD, Mich. — Florena Silva sat in her Kentwood living room with 13 ON YOUR SIDE as she recounted the two lives lost during a house fire on 48th St. in Kentwood. That house had belonged to family friends of Silva. 

Silva identified the victims as 19-year-old Nety Chavez who was a niece of the family visiting from Mexico, and 12-year-old Ashlee Duran who lived at the home.

Florena sat beside her daughter, Mariana, who translated for her from Spanish to English. 

"She felt really sad because of the situation, because the 19-year-old she was coming from Mexico just to visit, and just a tragedy that it happened, she was only 12, " said Silva.

Mariana explained that they knew the family from when they lived in Michoacan, Mexico. The Silvas only live a few blocks away from the home that burned down on 48th Street. 

Florena Silva described what she saw early Monday morning.

"I found out on my way to work, I passed by 48th Street, and I couldn't drive past it because the road was blocked, so I called my daughter and I asked her if everything was okay and she found out that the house burned down," she said. 

The house fire, Kentwood Police said, happened just before 3:30 a.m., adding that there were 6 other occupants in the home during the fire who made it out.

Silva added that she loves the family that has suffered a devastating loss, with hopes of helping them get back on their feet through her family's efforts of starting a GoFundMe.

"They're pretty good people and they get along with everyone, they just spread positive vibes throughout any situation that's going on," said Florena.

In addition to the fundraiser, the family is asking anyone with clothes, food and water to donate to the family as they lost everything in the fire. 

Here is a list of their needs: 

  • Infant formula
  • Baby girl - 0-3 months
  • Girl's - 7t/8t
  • Boy's - Large
  • Women's - Medium
  • Women's - Large
  • Men's - Medium
  • Women's - 2xl
  • Men's - xl/2xl

Silva said to message her on the GoFundMe account for the address to drop off any donations. 

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