The Athens-Clarke County community is rallying around 12-year-old Taeden Johnson, who lost his family in a fatal house fire last week.
Fire crews were dispatched to the fire on Spring Valley Road after a neighbor had called 911 and said the home next to his was on fire.
Crews arrived on the scene and found the home fully-involved with fire.
As crews were working to get the fire under control, they received reports from a neighbor that Taeden had escaped from the fire and said there were other family members inside the home.
Taeden sustained some burns to his shoulder and suffered from mild smoke inhalation.
When the crews were able to extinguish the fire enough to safely make entry into the home, they located the bodies of Taeden’s mother, grandmother and his little sister.
Taeden is currently living with his paternal grandmother. Taeden’s mentor, Zac Hendrix, set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Taeden’s current needs of clothes and personal needs as well as his college fund.
“By the Grace of God to see his smile saying, ‘I love you bro, you are just a few of the family I have left…’ has left me crushed, but trusting God’s plan through this tragic event,” Hendrix said.
Hendrix is also asking members of the community to donate clothes and shoes, since Taeden lost everything he owns in the fire. The response to the GoFundMe campaign has been overwhelming, raising just over $213,065 of a $500,000 goal.
You can donate through the GoFundMe campaign by clicking here.
Fire investigators were unable to determine the cause of the fire, but said foul play is not suspected and that the fire likely started in one of the bedrooms.