NEW DETAILS: Funeral services set for teen killed in fire - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

NEW DETAILS: Funeral services set for teen killed in Coralville fire


Funeral services have been set for a teenage boy that died in a fire at a Coralville duplex early Sunday morning. 

Crews were called to the home in the 700 block of 11th Avenue just after 1 a.m. Sunday.  The basement tenant escaped, but suffered smoke inhalation.  Rescue crews tried to save 14-year-old Ramone Bryant, who was upstairs at the time, but the flames were too intense.  Bryant's mother was hurt trying to save him.

"As we had crews go in with full turn out gear, it was really an intense environment and it was real risky sending them in.  They went in and made an attempt to get up into the upstairs, but the heat and smoke was so bad, that drove them back down," said Dave Stannard, Coralville Fire Chief.

News of the tragedy spread quickly through the area.  Many neighbors and friends gathered outside the home Sunday, taking in all the damage.  Balloons, stuffed animals and flowers were placed outside in memory of the 14-year-old who lost his life.

"He played sports.  He was nice to everybody.  I mean I don't know anything bad about him," said Bryant's friend and classmate Josh Dillon.

Bryant had just started his freshman year at Iowa City West High School.  And Dillon says going back to class Tuesday won't be easy.  He's just hoping that the community and his classmates will pull together and do anything they can to support Bryant's family.

"I hope that they get through it.  And maybe someone would be kind enough to put up a fundraiser or something--sell bracelets with his name on it or something, have a lot of people buy them, sell them at lunch at school, maybe to help his funeral so he can have a good funeral," said Dillon.

Meanwhile, with so much damage done to Bryant's home, crews are still trying to figure out how the fire started.  But in the community, it's much harder to understand why a young life was lost to such tragedy.

Officials in Coralville are not calling the fire suspicious, but because a fatality was involved, the state fire marshal's office at the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation have been called in to help determine what may have started the blaze.

Counselors are on hand at Iowa City West High School to help any students that are having a hard time dealing with this tragedy. Principal Jerry Arganbright also says the school is extending support to Ramone's brothers, Rodney and Richard, who are also students at the school.

According to Gay and Ciha Funeral Services, visitation will be held Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Parkview Evangelical Free Church in Iowa City.  The funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, also at the church.  Burial will be at Oakland Cemetery in Iowa City.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in Ramone's memory.

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