Arson Victims Receive Donation

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
CLEVELAND— A huge outpouring of support for a family left homeless by a fire just days before Christmas.

A 16-year-old neighborhood boy is accused of setting it.

On Thursday, some Cleveland city workers demonstrated the true meaning of the holiday.

It truly is the season of giving at the City of Cleveland Street Department's Glenville facility.

"I just can't believe that there are so many supportive people in the world today, I never expected this. I have to just thank God for everybody and everything that they're doing for me," said fire victim Joyce Williams.

Around 4:00 a.m. Tuesday, Joyce Williams' home on Nelaview Road in Cleveland Heights was destroyed by fire, wiping out everything she and her 13-year-old daughter owned.

Their three year old Boxer, Puma, was killed.

"We hope that our little contribution helps give them a Merry Christmas as much as it can," said streets department employee George Washington.

More than two dozen employees at the Glenville facility raised money for the family.

The fundraiser started as a way to help a co-worker whose home had been burglarized on Friday.

"He refused the money, he said give it to somebody else," said facility supervisor Rev. Kevin Skipper, Sr.

He then saw Williams' story on Fox 8.

"The Lord just spoke to me and said 'give you the money.' This morning, we had $400, and in five minutes, we went to $1,000, and we just want to present you with the money, both of you with the money, because we wanted her to have a Merry Christmas," Skipper said.

"I don't know what we're gonna do with the money, but right now I just think that I wanna go just spend some time with my mom and my brothers and sisters," said Eris Eanes, who also lived in the home.

Cleveland Heights police charged a 16-year-old boy with aggravated arson and aggravated menacing.

Williams' daughter believes this may stem from a dispute that got out of hand.

"The conflict that we had was not deep enough, but unfortunately he felt it was deep enough to take away everything we own actually," Eanes said.

Williams said she thought she would have to recover from the fire on her own, but she's glad to see there are people who care.

"God bless you and God keep you from the Glenville station, and my other guys love you, they're just not here," Skipper told Williams.

Cleveland Heights police said they transported the 16-year-old suspect to the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center.

They said for some reason, he was released.

As of Thursday evening, Cleveland Heights police were searching for him once again.