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Firefighters Raising Funds For Family of Pacifica Fire Victims

A Redwood City firefighter lost his grandfather and young cousin in the house fire earlier this month.

Redwood City firefighters are collecting funds to help the family of one of their colleagues after a earlier this month.

Redwood City firefighter Abel Virgen lost his grandfather and a 12-year-old cousin in the April 1 fire, according to Redwood City spokesman Malcolm Smith.

The San Mateo County Coroner identified the older man as 90-year-old Javier Virgen, but declined to release information on the boy, who community members have .

The fire, which broke out just before 6 a.m., destroyed the home at 552 Inverness Drive. Eleven people were able to escape, but the boy and the older man were found dead inside, according to the North County Fire Authority.

Three people were also taken to San Francisco General Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation and a burned arm.

The Redwood City Firefighters' Create-a-Smile Foundation has established an account to help the displaced family with items such as food, clothing and shelter while they cope with the loss of their loved ones, Smith said.

"Abel is a passionate, hard-working professional in his trade of firefighting," Smith said. "He commits himself daily to preventing the very same tragedies that his family now faces."

Donations in the name of the Virgen family can be sent to Redwood City Fire Station 9, 755 Marshall St., Redwood City CA 94063, Attention: Create-a-Smile Foundation. Checks should be made out to the "Virgen Family Fire Fund."

A memorial fund has also been established for the family through Sunset Ridge Elementary School in Pacifica.

Donations to the Haro Family Memorial Fund can be sent to the school at 340 Inverness Drive, Pacifica, 94404.

The fire's cause has not been determined as of today, North County Fire Authority officials said.

--Bay City News

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Pacifica Islanders April 16, 2012 at 04:37 PM
The Pacifica Islanders are raising funds for the Haro/Virgen family who suffered a terrible loss, as a fire took the life of 2 family members and destroyed all their belongings. The Islanders will host the TC Outlaws in a Minor League Football game and all proceeds from the gate will be donated to the family! Young Christian Haro, 13, and his 93-year-old great grandfather Javier Virgen, died in the flames that destroyed the house at 552 Inverness Drive and left 11 members of their extended family homeless. Let's show them how much Pacifica cares and make this event a success! Thank you! http://www.facebook.com/events/274973069255163/

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