‘So grateful’: Local baseball team offers help to families displaced by house fire


CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) — A house fire is a terrible thing, and if you’re the mother when a fire breaks out, the only thing you think about is your children.

“Around 7:30 or so my son was screaming ‘ma there’s a fire, so I grabbed up my four kids my daughter was at work at the time and told them to come outside,” said Latia Brown.

She and her kids got out safely and so did the family of Chalea Smith who lived on the other side of the duplex.

Their house happens to be right across the street from Cleveland Heights High School’s baseball field, where a game between the summer squads of heights and Perry was well underway.

“They were helpful, they really started tending to the families and stuff. It’s hard to explain and I’m grateful for what everybody has done,” Brown said.

But after the fire, now comes the time to figure out what you’re going to do.

And that’s when the the teams and their boosters from both schools stepped up to the plate. One parent set up a GoFundMe site for the Smith family and Brown got hers going as well.

But not only did the baseball team help out, but so did the rest of the heights school community. Her oldest boy, Donzell, plays football and wrestles for the district and they also got active.

“Coach Mack was able to share the page and get to some of the community in Shaker Heights because some of the community was seeing the GoFundMe account, so some of the players and staff of the football team has helped out too,” Brown said.

The Smith family has found a new place but Latia is still looking for a home for her children.

But it’s important to her that she stays in Cleveland Heights because it’s where her children have been the happiest in the their school, community and in an area where people are willing to help their neighbors.

“Its making me so grateful it’s making me think outside of the box that there are people who genuinely willing to help others out in a time of need,” she said.

Here are links to both families’ GoFundMe pages:

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