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By Craig Braack

As Michele Erway fights for her life, police, family release info and names of five children who died in tragic house fire (info on GoFundMe pages)

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Mikalah Roulo was a sophomore at Wellsville High School.


GENESEE, Pa. — More details have been released and ways to donate after a tragic fire took the lives of five children, three from Potter County and two from Allegany County on Monday morning.

Coudersport-based State Police said the 911 call was at 3:30 a.m. Monday for a fire at 226 Slingerland Road in Genesee, Pa.

Troopers said the fire may have started in the basement of the home owned by Charlie and Michele Erway. Troopers said the Erway’s attempted to save the children from the fire and “sustained serious injuries while trying to rescue the children.” Michele had jumped from a second-story window and was taken to Jones Memorial Hospital and later airlifted by MercyFlight to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester for severe smoke inhalation.

Charlie Erway was taken to Jones Memorial Hospital and later by ambulance to Strong Memorial Hospital with first- and second-degree burns, a friend of the family said.

Raymond, Triston and Evan Erway died in the fire. They were students at Northern Potter High School and family members said Mikalah Roulo, 16, a sophomore at Wellsville High School died in the fire along with Krysta Kane, 16, a sophomore at Scio Central School.

Troopers said the cause of the fire may have been in the basement but that the investigation is ongoing.

Trooper Lauren Lesher explains the parents tried to save the five children

Rene Smith, a family friend for over 20 years, set up a GoFundMe page to help the family. The Sun has posted links and thanks to Smith’s efforts, $27,000 has been raised so far for the family.

“Raymond, Triston, and Evan plus two other kids passed away in the fire,” Smith said in an update. “Michele was air lifted this morning to Strong Memorial from inhaling fumes. Charlie later on was (taken by) ambulance (to Strong) due to 1st- and 2nd-degree burns. They’re okay. Michele is responsive but on a ventilator from smoke inhalation. Thank you so much for each and everyone who has donated. Every penny counts.”

Brian and Debra Salmonson said when their daughter, Mikalah left to spend the night at the Erway’s on Sunday, they didn’t realize that hug goodbye would be their last.

“Thank you everyone for the words, hugs and prayers for our family. Deb and I both got a hug from Mikalah Sunday, not knowing it would be our last one from our daughter,” the parents said in a post. “We don’t know what to say or do right now, but knowing we have a big family and friends means so much to us and the kids right now. But as the tears coming rolling down, we would like to thank everyone, including the first responders. We are just praying for Charlie and Michele Erway’s recovery so we can be with the both of you.”

Kimberly Clark set up a GoFundMe page for Mikalah.

Krysta Kane.

At the age of 16, Krysta Kane was already living out her future dreams of helping the elderly. She also wanted to work with horses professionally and loved the goats on the Erway farm.

Krista’s aunt, Melissa Stocking told the Sun her niece made everyone happy.

“She was amazing. She would walk in and smile and it would light up a room,” Stocking said. “She was happy and bubbly … she loved her little sister (Leelynn) with everything she had. She had big dreams. She loved her horses. She wanted to ride horse professionally and take care of the elderly. That was her life-calling.”

In a GoFundMe page set up for Krysta, Stocking said, “My niece Krysta was in the fire. Krysta’s family is going to need all the help and support they can get through this horrible time. Krysta was so in love with Ray Erway, another child lost in the fire, and he loved her as much. The only grace that we can come to terms with this is that they were together. Krysta leaves behind her mother Jean, Father Jon, Step-Father Donny, younger sister Lelynn, her grandparents as well as an Aunt and uncle and many cousins and other family members.”

Here is a link to our original reporting and video.

Below are the easiest ways to get to the three GoFundMe pages and donate toward the families:

Erway Family:

Krysta Kane:

Mikalah Roulo:

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