Group starts fund to aid fire victims' family
A Huntington Station nonprofit group is collecting money for the family of the mother and daughter who died after their home caught fire, as police continue to investigate what caused the blaze.
Members of the Friends of Huntington Station Latin Quarter met yesterday morning and decided to start collecting to help with funeral and burial expenses as well as home repair costs, co-founder Xavier Palacios said.
Reyna Paris, 64, and Rosemary Martinez, 29, were pronounced dead on Friday at Huntington Hospital after firefighters evacuated them from the cluttered second floor of their Fourth Avenue house.
Arson investigators found no functioning smoke detectors in the house, police said.
Paris' son, Joseph Martinez, 26, escaped, "possibly through a basement window," Suffolk County Police Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick said on Friday.
Joseph Martinez suffered minor injuries and was treated at Huntington Hospital.
Paris had three other daughters who live elsewhere. She and Rosemary Martinez, who friends and relatives said had Down syndrome, were described as inseparable. Paris was born in the Dominican Republic and lived in Huntington Station for more than 40 years, family members said.
"She was a very beautiful person, a very giving person," said Paris' sister, Ana Paris Corporan, on Friday.
Police had no new information about the fire investigation Saturday.
Fire officials said more than 100 firefighters from eight departments responded to the 911 call at 11:42 p.m. Thursday. The fire was largely confined to the basement, they said.
Town spokesman A.J. Carter said Friday that the house had no history of building code violations.
Donations for the family should be sent to the Friends of Huntington Station Latin Quarter, with checks made out in the organization's name. The address is 1399 New York Ave., Huntington Station, NY 11746. They also can be made through hslq.org.
Members asked that people write in the memo line that the money is for the Martinez family. Anyone with questions should email the organization, email@example.com.