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‘A town that you’re proud to be from’: Family expresses gratitude to Jeannette community for support after deadly house fire

Dan Cooper doesn't want to be thanked.

Dan Cooper is not seeking thanks.

Gathering clothing and money donations for a family impacted by a fatal fire is simply the norm for the Jeannette community.

Four of Miranda John’s kids — Kyson, 7; Kinzleigh, 6; Keagan, 3; and Korbyn, 1 month old — died in a fire on March 20 that destroyed their Guy Street home. The children’s father, Tyler J. King, 27, also perished in the blaze.

John and her two other children — Kaiden, 10, and Kash, 1 — were the only survivors.

At John’s request, Cooper — president of the Jeannette Midget Athletic Association — gathered the organization’s youth football players and cheerleaders for a community vigil Wednesday evening at the West Jeannette baseball field.

“The John family, the boys, all came through the (athletic association). Miranda came through the program. The parents are very helpful with the program,” Cooper stated. “I’ve known them from the time they all played down here at midgets to the time they got to the high school program.”

When John proposed a vigil be held to honor her children and fiancé, Cooper knew he had to assist.

“They’re part of our family. We jumped in, and not to get any credit or anything like that,” Cooper explained. “It’s what we’re supposed to do. That’s why we’re doing what we’re doing.”

Clothing donations for John, Kaiden and Kash were collected during the vigil. Three 24-foot-long trailers have been filled with donations of clothing and household items for the family over the past week, Cooper said.

Local barber Rod’lynn Griffie provided haircuts to attendees, with the proceeds benefiting the family.

“I understand how difficult it is for people to lose a lot, lose their friends, family,” said Griffie, 19, of Greensburg. “It’s hard. I just wanted to help out any way I could.”

John, her kids and about 40 of her and King’s family members attended the vigil. Awards were given to first responders and neighbors who assisted the family on the night of the fire.

“If it was not for them, we would not have Miranda, Kaiden and Kash here with us today,” said Natasha Reaggle, John’s first cousin. “Every day since the tragedy, there has been an outpouring of love and support from prayers, meals brought to the house, the memorial fundraiser this past Monday, those in attendance tonight — the list goes on.”

Reaggle, 42, of Greensburg grew up in Jeannette.

“Jeannette may be a small town, but we pull together when it matters the most,” Reaggle said. “It’s a town that you’re proud to be from.”

A formal memorial service will be held for the deceased family members at 10 a.m. April 5 at Word of Life Church in Hempfield, Reaggle said. A private burial and reception will follow.

Elliott Federal Credit Union reported on its social media page Tuesday that donations to a fund there have totaled more than $110,000. Those amounts are in addition to the $111,000 that has been donated on a GoFundMe page for the family.

A second GoFundMe account for a neighboring family whose home was destroyed in the fire has raised more than $21,000.

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