Monroe County

Rochester family gets new home after tragic incident

Rochester, New York – Jessica Higgins sends a message to the Rochester Police officers who raced into her burning house.
“We want to thank them for their actions. They weren’t equipped, they jumped into action,” said Higgins. “They did a great job. They didn’t have to. They went above and beyond.”
Last week in a fire on Hague Street four of her five children escaped safely. Unfortunately her oldest son, 12-year-old Chris, didn’t manage to escape and died in the fire.
“He’s an angel in Heaven now. I just wish I had more of a warning that he was heading home,” she said.
According to Higgins losing her son and the house is a loss that will never be replaced but she’s grateful the rest of her family is still here. After the incident she spent four days in intensive care.
When she was released, her family had no home and nowhere to turn. That’s when she said friends and strangers stepped up to help.
“We set out the day of the fire to find them a new place to live, and it turned into a beautiful home with all our friends and family coming together,” said Kelly Ganjemi, Higgins’ former landlord. She helped secure the family a new place to live in the same neighborhood.
“She’s still grieving. All of this is to help her get a chance to relax and grieve. Just get a grip on everything that’s been going on. It’s overwhelming,” said Ganjemi.
Higgins said she received love and donations from people across the region.
“It’s all appreciated. It’s not going unnoticed. We’ve been trying to figure out who to thank for everything. It’s just so much,” said Higgins.
She admits she’d trade it all for another moment with Chris.
“I still tell him every day that I love him,” she said. “He’s not gone; he’s just moved on. He can hear us.”

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