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UPDATE: Mother returns to scene where son and father died in fire

(WSAZ)
Published: Aug. 10, 2018 at 5:28 AM EDT
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UPDATE 8/13/18 @ 6:11 p.m.

Leroy Seeley Jr., better known as LJ, died with his father Leroy Seeley in a fire at their home in Wheelersburg early Friday morning.

Several days have passed, but LJ's mother and Leroy’s longtime girlfriend Tracy Robbins said there's been no healing yet.

"I can't look at it,” she said.

It's just a shell of a place that she called home. She returned with her sister and best friend for the first time since Friday -- a morning she'll never stop mourning.

"I just can't believe they're gone," Robbins said.

The 911 call came from Leroy's father who lives next door. Investigators said the fire went undiscovered for quite some time, not giving Wheelersburg firefighters much of a chance.

Robbins is sharing more videos Monday, far different from the video of the fire that a witness sent us. While she's sharing more videos, they are just too painful for her to watch. Her phone, her Facebook page - both full of her son - now too full of pain.

"I can't sleep. I can't eat. I just can't believe,” she said. “It feels like I'm in a nightmare and I can't wake up."

She could have been a victim too, except she was staying with a friend as she recovered from back surgery.

Her words Friday that LJ “was the reason I got up every day" still ring Monday. Time has stood still.

"It's empty and weird and lost because I'm used to being with my kid every day and he's gone.”

One thing found in the ashes left behind: the broken tombstone of her sister who died almost a decade ago. They never got a chance to put it up at her grave site.

She's thankful for the community support in the last 72 hours, but said with no insurance, she'll need more to give them a proper funeral.

"I just want to put them to rest so I can grieve."

The family is working on funeral arrangements this week.

They have two fundraising events planned and are working on more. On Saturday, Sonora Mexican Grill in Portsmouth will donate a portion of all proceeds to funeral expenses. On Monday, Aug. 20, Gatti’s Pizza in Portsmouth is doing a similar drive from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Fire investigators are still waiting on official autopsy results and have yet to determine how and where specifically the fire started.

They're looking for help from the public, especially if you saw the fire in its early stages. You can give them a call at 800-589-2728.


UPDATE 8/10/18 @ 6:19 p.m.

A laugh that could light up the room, now gone forever.

Leroy Seeley Jr., better known as LJ, is one of two people killed in a fire early Friday morning. His father, Leroy Seeley, is the other victim, according to Tracy Robbins, LJ's mother and Leroy's boyfriend.

LJ's grandfather was the first to call 911, but it was too late.

Robbins shared a treasured video with us of her son, laughing and doing some of his ABCs.

"He was the reason I got up every day," she said.

But that reason, gone in an instant on this day for her.

"Once he would laugh, your day was better. It was so contagious. You can't help but laugh because he laughed," she said.

But no one is laughing Friday, just tight hugs from a family in mourning.

Around 1:20 a.m., Leroy Seeley's father who is also a next door neighbor on North Street in Wheelersburg, called 911 because his son's home engulfed.

Investigators said the fire was undiscovered, giving firefighters no chance for a rescue when they arrived.

Tracy and Leroy grew up on the same block as kids in Portsmouth. They’ve been together 13 years. LJ was their first child together, born almost a decade later, in October 2015.

"His dad and him were extremely close," Tracy recalled.

For her, it was almost like starting over, with her four other kids all in high school and college.

"She was in a hard place,” said Tracy’s sister Ashley Riley. “When she had him, it was like her whole life changed.”

Tracy was staying with a friend as she recovered from back surgery.

" ’I should be good enough next week bub.’ That was our last talk."

Otherwise, she may have been inside the mobile home, too.

"I think I'd be OK with that. It's going to be so hard to live without them. I love them so much. It's my family. I just love my family. Nothing worse in the world than this."

Now there are no answers. The fire was so fierce. Little is recognizable: a stove, a washer/dryer and the shell of a bike.

The bodies have been sent to the coroner's office for official notification and cause of death.

Leroy's family who lives next door was just too upset to walk with us Friday.

Meanwhile, four investigators with the state fire marshal's office were on scene. They have not determined a cause or origin as of Friday evening.

They're looking for help from the public, especially if you saw the fire in its early stages. You can give them a call at 800-589-2728.


UPDATE 8/10/18 @ 6:21 a.m.

Two people have died in a fire overnight at a home in Scioto County -- a father and a child. That's according to the mother of the child.

The child in the fire was a 2-year-old boy.

The father's parents, who live next door, called 911.

It happened along North Street in Wheelersburg.

The State Fire Marshal is on scene investigating.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.


ORIGINAL STORY 8/10/2018 @ 5:28 a.m.

Fire destroyed a home overnight in Scioto County.

It happened on North St. Firefighters at the scene say the fire started about 2 Friday morning.

It is unknown if there are injuries. The fire marshal is at the scene.

Keep clicking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.