Middletown offers grief counselors in wake of boy’s death

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — The town of Middletown continues to mourn the tragic loss of a 7-year-old boy who died after being pulled from a house fire on Monday.

According to police, Ramon Arroyo was on the second floor of the East Main Road home when the fire broke out around midnight Sunday.

“We saw this terrible view: flames and poor people were like, it was like a horror movie,” said neighbor Claudia Gonzalez. “They were screaming.”

A police officer who spotted smoke coming from the house was able to gain access and rescue the boy’s two sisters, ages 16 and 14.

Once firefighters arrived on scene, they pulled 7-year-old Ramon from the burning home. The boy died at the hospital a few hours later.

Aftermath of Middletown house fire (Madeleine Wright/WPRI-TV)
Aftermath of Middletown house fire (Madeleine Wright/WPRI-TV)

Arroyo’s eldest sister was treated and released from Newport Hospital while the 14-year-old continues to be treated at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

Middletown public schools are not in session Wednesday for a professional development day, but Superintendent Rosemarie Kraeger said grief counselors will be available at Forest Avenue School and Middletown High School for any students and teachers who need to talk.

Below is the full statement from Superintendent Kraeger:

“Thank you to all for your support as we deal with the untimely death of one of our students. We are a wonderful community that rallies around each other in good times and trying times. Our counselors will be available tomorrow, Wednesday, 9/7/16 from 8:30 to 2:30 at Forest Avenue School and Middletown High School. Since there is no school for our students, we wanted to let families know that if anyone needed to talk, share stories or just be together, the School Department will have staff available. A classmate of Ramon’s said that “ he is now our compass.” What a poignant way to look at this loss. Fundraising efforts are underway. We will provide more information as plans are finalized.”

A gift card campaign to benefit the Arroyo family has been set up by Families and Friends of Middletown Public Schools. Gift cards for clothing, groceries, household items, or VISA/MasterCard gift cards of any denomination can be dropped off at the following locations until Wednesday, Sept. 14:

  • All Middletown public schools
  • Middletown Fire Department
  • Eye Care for RI
  • Pruitt Chiropractic
  • Island Book Store
  • Martin Luther King Community Center in Newport

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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