Relatives and friends of the Levya family were raising money Wednesday to pay for funeral expenses after the mother and stepfather of two teenagers who died in a Pomona apartment fire took their own lives shortly afterward.
Thay Hung Leyva, 17, died at the scene of Thursday’s fire from “thermal injuries and inhalation of products of combustion,” the coroner’s office said. She was a student at Garey High School, which posted a tribute to Levya on its website.
Her 13-year-old sister, a student at Simons Middle School, died on Saturday at an Orange County hospital after being declared brain dead, according to Aly Mejia, a public information specialist for the Pomona Police Department, and the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
The mother and stepfather of the two girls killed themselves on Sunday, Mejia told City News Service. They jumped off a structure at a Pomona hospital, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported.
“The tragedy and loss of both girls was too much to bear,” surviving relatives Oreste Levya Monagas, Camerina Levya, and Narciso Levya, and friend Kency Oliva wrote on a GoFundMe page set up to raise money for funeral expenses.
More than $26,000 was donated by Wednesday night, two days after the page was created. The goal is to raise $40,000.
The girls’ schools also set up drive-by donation centers this week to raise money for the funeral expenses, Mejia said.
Authorities have not released the names of the rest of the family, but the family’s GoFundMe identified Thay’s sister as 13-year-old Rosemery Gallo Levya, and their mother as Rosana Levya.
According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Rosana Levya’s husband was Jose Luis Cervantes Hernandez.
The Pomona Police Department has not seen this kind of tragedy in a long time, according to Mejia.
Nearly two dozen firefighters were sent to the 1100 block of East Franklin Avenue about 10:35 a.m. Thursday, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
The girls were trapped in their bedroom, with the front door blocked by fire and the windows blocked by furniture and an exterior-mounted window air conditioning unit, according to fire officials.
The girls’ grandmother suffered minor injuries and was taken to a hospital for treatment, according to Mejia.
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