Counseling, support for family and classmates of Akron fire victims

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AKRON, Ohio - Counselors were at three Akron schools on Monday offering support for classmates and teachers of two sisters who died following a devastating fire at their home on Thursday.

Jayda Snowden,12 and Kymeria Cody,5 were not able to escape the flames.

The Akron City School District provided counselors at Schumacher and Buchtel Community Learning Centers where the two girls attended classes.

They also offered counseling at Crouse Community Learning Center, where Jayda attended school previously.

"Some are taking it extremely hard, you know? These were classmates. These were students that people knew and I think that it's our job as a crisis team to make sure that we are connecting, listening to students addressing their concerns," said Brian Hill, in charge of the district's crisis team.

The Akron Public School District earlier issued a release saying they were working on a plan to address fire safety away from the school after losing 9 students in three fires over the past ten months.

Firefighters confirmed that there were no smoke detectors in the house in which the two girls lived.

"I have heard lots of teachers asking questions of ways that they can continue to incorporate home safety into their curriculum and help out as much as possible," said Hill.

In the meantime community members were also rallying to support the girls' family, who lost everything in the fire.

Coaches were at Eerie Island Park, where Kymeria would have been at cheerleading practice on Monday, collecting donations of money and household items.

"We are out here trying to make sure that she gets everything we can get for her. Clothing, shoes, anything as far as housing .....whatever we can get for her," said Mechelle Hicks.

Counseling was also being offered to fellow cheerleaders who would have had their first practice since the fire on Monday, working toward a November competition.

"Just to know that we were all just standing at the field at our game talking and laughing and then to get that phone call stating that this happened it was just devastating," said Hicks.

The coaches planned to accept contributions at the park again from 2:00 - 5:00 pm again on Tuesday and from 1:00 - 4:00 pm on Friday.

A spaghetti dinner was also being planned for Buchtel CLC on Thursday.

The community is being invited to the park at 5:00 pm on Friday, where supporters plan to march to nearby United Baptist Church for prayer service and a balloon launch.

For now, they are turning away nothing to help the family recover.

"Anything, as well as your prayers, because she definitely need prayers," said Chemika Broadus.

"To know that the community will come together as one to come out and help this parent this mother that some people don't even know - this woman and to know that there's people out there, genuine people out there that love her, it's awesome," said Broadus.

A GoFundMe account has also been set up. You can  click here to donate to the fund.

An account has also been set up with Chase Bank. Checks or money orders should be made out to JadaSnowden-KymeraCody (no spaces, just a hyphen between the girls' names).

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