MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Reymundo Urena Rodriguez, the lone survivor of the Mount Vernon house fire that claimed four lives in September, has issued a letter to the community through the city school district.
In the open letter to the community, the 17-year-old expressed his appreciation for members of the school district, including principal Ronald Gonzalez and his secretary, Michelle Lopez, for their support over the tumultuous time.
Rodriguez called the school district his, “second family,” in the letter.
“In spite of my losses, which can never be replaced, I feel the love of my community, my high school and every school in the district,” he said. “I will never be able to repay you. I apologize for not being able to thank each and every one of you individually.”
Shortly after 3 a.m. on Oct. 29, a fire broke out on South Bond Street, taking the lives of Rodriguez’s father, Alcedo, mother, Nancy and siblings, Mariselis and Jesus. Reportedly, the children escaped their basement dwelling before returning to help their parents and succumbing to the smoke and flames.
At the time, the Mount Vernon School District offered crisis management and support at both the Mount Vernon High School, where Reymundo is a senior, and A.B. Davis Middle School. Mariselis was also a senior at the high school.
“On behalf of the entire school district, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the Urena family,” Interim Superintendent Judith Johnson said at the time. “This loss of life affects many throughout our school community and our focus is to support our students through the grieving process.”
Click here to see Reymundo Urena Rodriguez’s complete letter to the Mount Vernon community.
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