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Another Fire Killed 3 Kids Today In San Diego-California.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Jordan

By Kristina Davis


February 10, 2008

NELVIN C. CEPEDA / Union-Tribune

Pastor Ed Noble (right) comforted Rhonda and Travis Ballew, aunt and uncle of the children who died in Wednesday's house fire, during a prayer yesterday at Journey Community Church in La Mesa.

LA MESA – Abbey, 6, wanted to be a cheerleader for the San Diego Chargers.

Andrew, 4, wanted to be an astronaut or to play for the Chargers.

And Austin, 2, was “just trying to figure out the words to get candy.”

But the dreams of the three Van Buskirk children were cut short when they died in a house fire Wednesday night.

“We all have very heavy hearts,” said the children's uncle, Travis Ballew. “Our hearts are broken.”

Family members spoke out about the tragedy for the first time yesterday. Surrounded by friends at Journey Community Church in La Mesa, they offered tearful thanks for the prayers and support that continue to pour in.

“Prayers are being answered. Miracles and healing are already taking place,” said Rhonda Ballew, whose brother, James, is the children's father.

Courtesy photo

Abbey Van Buskirk (left), 6, and her brothers, Andrew (right), 4, and Austin, 2, were unable to escape the blaze, which erupted when their cousin used gasoline in the fireplace to stoke a small fire.

The fire started about 10:40 p.m. after the children's cousin, Matt Norton, 18, poured gasoline in the fireplace to stoke a small fire, the county Medical Examiner's Office said. The grandparents were able to escape, but the three children were not, despite Norton's effort to save them.

Sheriff's investigators are calling the fire an accident.

The inferno destroyed the Spring Valley home where the Van Buskirks, who recently moved from Texas, were living with their grandparents and cousin.

The children's parents, James and Mindy Van Buskirk, remained yesterday at a La Mesa hospital, where Mindy was being treated for a viral infection.

They were at the hospital Wednesday night when Mindy Van Buskirk saw the house on fire on the news, Travis Ballew said.

“She called ... and she just wanted to know if her babies were OK,” he said. “And I didn't say anything because we had to tell her in person.”

In a statement Mindy Van Buskirk wrote from her hospital bed yesterday, she said she knows her children are in heaven.

“Although this is a terrible tragedy, we realize God has a reason for everything he does,” she wrote.

The children's grandfather, Ron Van Buskirk, who spent 25 years as a volunteer firefighter, said he had seen fatal fires before, but nothing could prepare him for this.

Advertisement “Losing kids is the worst thing in the world,” Ron Van Buskirk said.

Norton remained at the UCSD Regional Burn Center in stable condition.

Family members said Norton's burns should heal, but the tragedy will leave an unimaginable emotional scar.

“My nephew needs deep healing. He needs desperate prayer,” Rhonda Ballew said. “He's carrying a burden that none of us can remove. He's carrying a weight that no one can take away.”

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Journey Community Church, 8363 Center Drive, La Mesa. Burials in Texas are pending.

Donations to the Van Buskirk family fund can be made at all Wells Fargo banks or to P.O. Box 2435, La Mesa, CA 91943.


The Kids.



بســــم اللـــــه الــــرحمـن الــــرحــــيم

My N-400 timeline, I hope it will help - Local Office (Chula Vista Field Office - San Diego)

10/01/2010: Application was sent.

10/04/2010: Application was received.

10/06/2010: Email received "Application has been received" & Noticed Date.

10/07/2010: "Touch"

10/08/2010: "Touch" & Check was Cashed

10/09/2010: NOA1 Received via mail.

10/22/2010: Status Changed Online "Request for evidence" It was for Biometrics.

10/25/2010: Request for evidence recieved "Biometrics Notice".

11/18/2010: Biometrics date ==> 11:00AM. Biometrics was taken On time.

12/03/2010: "Yellow Letter" Received.

12/06/2010: "Touch" Case Moved to "Testing and Interview".

12/08/2010: Interview Letter received via mail.

01/13/2011: Interview Date. Done, " Thanks To ALLAH, I Passed the Test.

01/18/2011: Oath Letter was Sent.

01/20/2011: Oath Letter Recieved via mail.

01/28/2011: Oath Date. ==> Done, I am a U.S. Citizen

01/31/2011: Applied for a U.S. Passport Book, And, U.S. Passport Card.

02/25/2011: Passport Book's Received.

02/26/2011: Passport Card's Received.

02/28/2011: Certificate Of Naturalization's Returned.

Game Over.

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