Family of 9-year-old boy killed in house fire set up GoFundMe ac - WNEM TV 5

Family of 9-year-old boy killed in house fire set up GoFundMe account

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SWARTZ CREEK, MI (WNEM) -

A 9-year-old boy was killed in a house fire that broke out Monday morning in Swartz Creek.

Police said the fire began in the front bedroom shortly before 11:30 a.m., where the boy was.

The family said they believe the boy started the fire in the room, which was locked. His step-mother, who was home at the time, couldn't get in.

Family members identified the boy as 9-year-old Harold “Trey” Coburn III.

"They couldn't make entry into the bedroom where he was at," said Swartz Creek Area Fire Department Chief Brent Cole.

Jim Pavlica said his daughter was home when she smelled smoke and heard the smoke detectors going off. 

But Trey had locked himself in the bedroom.

"My daughter was also in the house, she was trying to beat the door open, and he locked himself in the bedroom, is what we understand and he couldn't get out," said Jim Pavlica, the boy's grandfather. "They couldn't get him out."

Jim Pavlica said his son also tried to break in the outside windows, but the flames were too intense.

By the time firefighters knocked down the flames and reached the boy, it was too late.

"Trey was an angel for us," said grandmother Linda Pavlica. "He was just an all-around good kid. He liked the attention, the one-on-one attention of course, and that's what he got from us, because he was the only kid in the house." 

His grandparents said they're holding on to the good memories and hoping to get a clearer picture of what happened.

"You know, maybe we'll get some answers from state police or something, but until then," Jim Pavlica said.

The state fire marshal is in Swartz Creek investigating the cause of the fire.

The family lost not only their son, but also all of their possessions. Syring Elementary School has become a drop-off location for those hoping to donate items to the family. 

They are in need of household items and paper goods like toilet paper, napkins, paper plates, or plasticware.

The family also has a GoFundMe page set up for their son's funeral expenses.

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