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Children lost home, mother, sister to fire

Jessica Cuffman • Aug 27, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Neighbors and relatives said Brenda Shorty, mother of six, and one of her daughters, 2-year-old Vinesha Darden, died in the 4:12 am. blaze at the family’s May Street home.

Shorty’s boyfriend, Abdul Darden, escaped the fire, according to a recorded 911 call the Fremont Police Department provided to the Register.

Abdul Darden’s cousin called 911.

“There’s a fire on May Street, the house is engulfed in flames,” the caller is heard telling a dispatcher. “I don’t know the address.”

As firefighters and police headed to the home, the caller stayed on the line and was heard asking someone else: “Is the kids in there?”

The cause is still considered undetermined, according to an Ohio State Fire Marshal’s spokesman.

Shorty’s other five children were not in the home that night, as some were staying at friends’ homes or staying at a church function, neighbors said.

Fremont firefighters spent about an hour battling the blaze, then another seven hours investigating and making sure all embers were extinguished.

In a posting Monday on Facebook, Abdul Darden asked friends to help his family.

“I would like to say I love my family. I am so sorry that I lost loved ones,” he stated in the message. “I feel so bad right now, please help me and my family. Anything is appreciated.”

His Facebook friends offered help and shared condolences. Some of Shorty’s other children posted messages on Facebook as well, along with pictures of Shorty and Vinesha.

Investigators have yet to officially identify the victims. Their bodies have been sent to the Lucas County coroner’s office for autopsies.

Investigators have some leads on what actually caused the fire, but they won’t release more information until there’s an official ruling, Ohio State Fire Marshal spokesman Michael Duchesne said.

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