7-year-old helps classmate and family that lost everything in apartment fire

News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

NORMANDY, MO (KTVI) – A story of true friendship and inspiration is rising from tragedy and heartbreak.

The massive fire that displaced dozens of families in Normandy, February 21, is proving no match for a pair of seven year old boys.

It’s like this with best friends:  when one hurts, the other knows the pain.

Kollin Clark feels like what happened to his best friend and 1st grade classmate at Tower Grove Christian School, Ryan Branson, happened to Kollin.

“It made me feel sad when his house burnt down,” Kollin said.

The Branson family is one of more than 30 displaced in the massive 7-alarm fire at the Norwood Court apartments.  The Branson’s lost everything, including all the important “stuff” from the 7 year old perspective — Ryan’s favorite toys.

Kollin took their plight to his mom.

“He said, ‘mommy my friend Ryan at school, his house is gone,’ ” said Kollin’s mother, Jessica Clark.  “’You know it really makes me sad. Can you tell all the Facebook people that Ryan needs new Ninja Turtles?’”

With Kollin’s help, his mom told those “Facebook people”, posting a video to social media.  The response has been astounding, with more than $8,000 donated to a “Go-Fund-Me” page for the Branson’s in the first 5 days.

Adults are learning lessons from the 2 boys.

“That it’s okay to help out your friends,” said Ryan’s mom, Sonya Wells. “It’s okay to be selfless rather than selfish, because a lot of times we see a lot of selfishness. So it’s good.”

“All of my toys, I had, they were in the house and they broke.  But I am getting new toys, that’s the good part,” Ryan said.

“I really couldn’t process what was happening, but after I sat down and really watched it with my mother, I was sitting there in amazement and my mother started crying,” said Ryan’s dad, Ryan Branson, Sr.

“Go to his page to donate or call my mom if you want to give him stuff,” Kollin says in the video.

This is the “stuff” of true friendship.  No fire can destroy that.

There’s still no word on the cause of the fire. You can donate to the Branson family

at www.gofundme.com/mwtkew.

You can see the video here:  One small voice can change someones world

Previous Coverage:

Red Cross helping families burned out of apartments

 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News