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Family of boy killed in fire speaks out as leaders ask for community's help

Posted at 5:47 PM, Nov 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-22 17:47:47-05

A family is speaking out about a boy who lost his life in a devastating fire.  Twelve-year-old Marvin Carter’s loved ones say he lived a life that made all of them immensely proud. 

“He was a very bright kid,” said his aunt Nicci Woods. “Always fun-loving.” 

Marvin died in a house fire on Monday morning.  It was around 5:00a.m. when neighbors noticed smoke and flames coming from his family’s house.  His mom was working the night shift.  Marvin and his 13-year-old sister Honesty Carter were sleeping inside. 

Honesty woke up to the fire, but could not get out of the house. She burned her arms and hands.  Neighbors busted out windows and helped her escape.   Neighbors then rushed in the house to find Marvin, but the smoke and flames were too thick.  Firefighters also searched, but could not find him in time. 

Marvin’s aunt says her nephew may have been only 12, but he impacted so many lives with his determination, humor, and smarts.    He loved basketball, and had just made the team at school.  He was so excited, having worked hard after not making the team in the past. He was always a smart child. He learned to read when he was only two. He was so proud that he had just brought home a 4.0 report card. 

“He was holding his report card up to the light. He was smiling so big. His teacher brought him a present on Monday and then we got that call,” said Woods. 

Now the family is haunted by thoughts of what could have been. Honesty tried to help her brother, but no one could find him in the smoke. 

“I just want her to know that Marvin loves her and woke her up so she could live on and carry on his name in a good way,” said Woods. 

His mom was working a night shift when the fire started. She tried to speak about her son during a press conference,  but was overcome with grief. 
The city is asking the community to help this family. 

“This community is going to wrap its arms around this family,” said Hubert Yopp, Mayor of Highland Park. 

The family lost everything in this fire.  If you have physical items, from soap and tooth brushes, to sheets and clothes,  donations are appreciated. Honesty wears a size two in women’s, and size 8 shoes.  

“You can drop off donations at the fire department between the hours of 8 and 5,” said Kevin Coney, Highland Park Fire Chief. 

“You can donate to the One Detroit Credit Union. There is a branch right here in Highland Park and it is the Carter Savings Account,” said Marli Blackman, Highland Park Spokesperson. 

“My sister appreciates anything people can do,” said Woods. “She lost everything, but losing something in a house is nothing like losing a child.”