Neighborhood club mourns the loss of children killed in Manchester fire
MANCHESTER — Members of the Roca Kidz Club on Wilson Street in Manchester are mourning the loss of two boys who they say perished in a deadly fire at their apartment building Monday morning.
“Every week, they always wanted to help, because if you help you get a prize,” said the club's Jamie Wintle. at “They were always asking if they could vacuum, if they could clean tables. They were great kids and they’re going to be missed.”
Jay Smith said Monday, “One of them is my son. The 8-year-old is my son.” Smith told NH1 News, he is the father of one of the four victims of the blaze.
Smith's son, 8-year-old Jay Michael, was unable to escape after flames broke out. The two boys were brothers, Jay Michael, 8, and Joshua, 10.
Members say this is something they have never had to deal with before and are working on ways to help the other kids.
"It's good to see the people come together," said the club's Josh Wintle."We just wanted to be here as community leaders to set an example for these kids and let them know that we're here all the time and we're not going to abandon them when things get tough."
The Roca Kidz Club, according to Josh Wintle, is designed to give kids a safe and fun place to spend time once a week Thursday evenings from 6 - 7:30 p.m.
"We get the kids off the street, we feed them, spend time with them, play games with them," said Josh Wintle. "We get them off the streets and get them to forget about life for a little while."
"They're great kids," he said. "They showed up every Thursday and were always happy. They'd come in and help out. They just wanted to be a part of something and they were."