Brandon Andrews

Photo of a young man in a blue dress shirt and paisley navy tie. He has brown hair, brown skin, and brown eyes; in the background is a stone wall with a waterfall flowing over it.Name: Brandon Ato-Kwamina Andrews.
Died: January 17, 2022.
Age at death: 19.
Cause of death: Homicide (Arson fire).
Location: Pontiac, Michigan, USA.

Details:
Brandon enjoyed watching movies, swimming, and spending time with his family.

Brandon, his stepfather, and several other people all lived together in a two-story house. One January night, the house caught fire and was quickly engulfed in flames. Several people had to escape by jumping from the upstairs windows.

Brandon’s stepfather jumped from the second story, then called to Brandon to follow him. But he couldn’t persuade the young man to jump, and Brandon died in the fire, as did 59-year-old Jeff Donnelly, who also didn’t make it out.

Arson investigators examined the house and discovered that the fire had been deliberately started. The arson case is unsolved; but police have surveillance video of someone going from room to room in the house just before the fire. They are asking anyone who may know anything about the fire, or who might have seen anything unusual, to call the Sheriff’s Office at 248-858-5001 or the Detroit Crime Commission at 1-800-442-7766. A $5000 reward is offered.

References:
Brandon Andrews Obituary – Auburn Hills, MI
Pontiac house fire that killed 2, injured 5 was no accident, officials say
Oakland County Sheriff’s Office asking for help to solve Arson Homicides | MI Headlines
Fatal fire in Pontiac overnight leaves 2 dead, injures 5 more
Pontiac residents jump from 2nd story to escape fire; 2 killed in blaze
2 dead, 5 injured in Pontiac house fire
Two killed, five injured in early morning Pontiac fire
Police trying to identify ‘shadowy figure’ seen inside Pontiac home before fire killed 2, hurt 5

Dustin Baggett

Photo of a teenage boy with a buzz cut, grinning widely, showing crooked teeth.Name: Dustin Baggett.
Died: January 18, 2020.
Age at death: 15.
Cause of death: Smoke inhalation and burns.
Location: Florissant, Missouri, USA.

Details:
Dustin’s neighbors had long been worried about how he and the other children in his house were being treated. They called authorities repeatedly. Dustin, though nonverbal, was a friendly boy and constantly smiling. A neighbor remembers, “We all kind of took him in, knowing he needed our love.”

Dustin was pulled out of his burning house by firefighters, but died a day later in the hospital. The fire was investigated and shown to be arson, allegedly set by a man who lived in his house.

References:
Man suspected of setting fatal fire in Florissant now charged with murder
15-year-old Missouri boy who lived with autism died after arson fire; upgraded charges expected
Police: Boy, 15, with autism killed in arson fire

Joel Urhie

Photo of Joel Urhie, a boy with dark skin and close-cropped hair, wearing a dress shirt and tie. He is holding a smart phone and making a thumbs-up gesture.Name: Joel Urhie.
Died: August 6, 2018.
Age at death: 7.
Cause of death: Murder (Died in arson-caused fire).
Location: Deptford, London, England, UK.

Details:
Joel was a sweet, bright boy who played football and liked reading. He wanted to be a firefighter.

Joel’s older brother was involved with gangs, and had gone to prison. In an attack that might have been aimed at Joel’s brother, who wasn’t even living in the house at the time, someone set the house on fire.

Joel’s mother and sister escaped the house, though both were injured. Joel was trapped in his bedroom; his body was found by firefighters.

References:
Richard Taylor speaks out about Joel Uhrie’s murder
Is autistic boy killed in fire youngest victim of London gang crisis?
What caused the Deptford ‘arson’ fire and what happened to Joel Urhie?
Police suspect arson victim may have been innocent gang war casualty
Teacher tribute to boy, 7, killed in fire

Jeffery Bailey Jr.

Photo of a boy with pale skin and strawberry blond hair sitting in the cab of a fire truck.Name: Jeffery Scott Bailey Jr.
Died: January 29, 2018.
Age at death: 13.
Cause of death: Fire.
Location: Martinsburg, West Virginia, USA.

Details:
Jeffery’s obituary says that he “liked puppets, riding four wheelers and wagons, guitars, and playing on his I-pad. He loved to go to church and was always bright light and happy.” He was a fan of SpongeBob SquarePants.

Memorial for Jeffery Bailey. A blanket with a cartoon clownfish is draped over some rubble at a fire scene; on the blanket are several plush toys and an action figure.
Memorial left outside the duplex where Jeffery Bailey died.

Jeffery lived in a duplex with his mother; they shared the duplex with the Reed family. It was the middle of the night when someone set a fire on the building’s front porch. The Reeds’ pit bull smelled the smoke and woke them, allowing them to get out of the house. Jeffery’s mother also escaped, but she burned her airway trying to rescue Jeffery and had to be hospitalized. Jeffery was pulled out of the house by firefighters, but he died of smoke inhalation. The Reeds’ dog also died in the fire.

The arson case is still unsolved. A $5,000 reward is offered to anyone who can help police find the arsonist. If you have information about the case, call 800-233-3473 (FIRE), the arson hotline.

References:
Arson aftermath: Friends, neighbors mourn death of teen
Teen dies in Martinsburg fire
Teen boy dies in Martinsburg fire; authorities believe it was arson
Autistic boy dies from injuries after Martinsburg house fire
Jeffery S. Bailey Jr.

William Kidd II

Portrait photo of William Kidd. He is a heavyset teenage boy with fair skin and short brown hair. He has his mouth open; he is wearing a white sweatshirt with black and red writing.Name: William Gratsie Kidd II.
Died: January 27, 2018.
Age at death: 13.
Cause of death: Neglect (Died in house fire due to unsafe conditions).
Location: Elkin, North Carolina, USA.

Details:
William loved horses and was good at communicating with them. He also enjoyed music, his four-wheeler, and going to church and school. His favorite food was Kentucky Fried Chicken. He liked shoes and flyswatters, and was mostly non-verbal except for a few signs. He used to ride his tricycle through the school hallways.

William died in a house fire. Detectives determined that the house was “her actions during the fire directly caused the death of her son”, but did not specify further. The house was a cluttered fire hazard, a “hoarding situation” that endangered William’s life.

It is unknown exactly why William’s mother was found to be at fault for his death, but in addition to involuntary manslaughter and child abuse, she was also charged with insurance fraud. She eventually pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter, receiving an 8-month jail term and probation.

References:
Woman convicted in death of son in Surry County fire. Other charges, including insurance fraud, dismissed.
Obituary for William Kidd, II
Mom Tried Saving Son in Deadly Surry Co. House Fire: Officials
Mom Charged in Elkin House Fire That Killed Son With Autism
NC woman faces charges in fire death of son with autism
Mount Airy News, Mount Airy NC
Mom charged after 13-year-old son dies in house fire in Surry County
Surry County mother charged in autistic son’s death in house fire
Mother remembers boy killed in Elkin fire
Elkin faculty, students remember student lost in weekend house fire