Crowdsourcing raises more than $11K for Chesterfield daycare fire victim’s funeral

Posted at 4:31 PM, Oct 23, 2014
Fire at in-home daycare on Valerie Court in Chesterfield (PHOTO: Chesterfield Fire and EMS)

Fire at in-home daycare on Valerie Court in Chesterfield (PHOTO: Chesterfield Fire and EMS)

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — A online account has raised thousands for the final expenses of a one-year-old boy who died after being pulled from a fire at a Chesterfield in-home daycare Tuesday.

A GoFundMe account created Thursday had raised more than $7,000 from 124 contributors as of 4 p.m.  for Joseph Allen’s family. As of 4:45 p.m., that number had jumped to $9,881 from 154 contributors. That number had increased to $11,861 from 198 users as of 7:20 p.m.

“Amid this unimaginable and unbearable loss, we set up this fund in order to help with little Joseph’s final expenses,” reads a statement on the “Joseph Matthew Allen Memorial Fund” GoFundMe site. ” We are praying every moment for Joseph’s family, and especially for his loving parents as they endure this tragic and devastating loss.”

The boy had just celebrated his first birthday.

“It is a really rough time,” loved ones of Joseph’s told CBS 6 News earlier this week.

There were eight children in the Midlothian home, along 11700 block of Valerie Court, when the fire started in the garage at about 12:16 p.m. Tuesday.

Chesterfield Fire and EMS spokesman Lt. Jason Elmore said that when firefighters arrived the owner of the daycare told them all children in her care were out of the home, but that was not the case. Still, crews followed protocol and swept the home.

“Crews were reporting very heavy smoke conditions, smoke bank down to the floor, zero visibility,” Elmore said.

The smoke prevented crews from finding the little boy in a bedroom until roughly 35 minutes after firefighters were called to the home.

“If they tell us there is someone in the home, we can do that focused search where they were last seen, but in this case that was not it,” he said.

Stay with and CBS 6 News for updates on this story.