Harwich Student, 6, Dies Following Orleans Apartment Fire

By: Ryan Bray

Topics: Police, Fire And Harbormaster News , Fire , Orleans news

A six-year-old boy was pronounced dead at Cape Cod Hospital following a fire at this apartment building at 177 Route 6A Saturday night. ALAN POLLOCK PHOTO

ORLEANS – A six-year-old boy has died following an apartment fire on Route 6A Saturday night.

In an email to parents and staff Monday, Momomoy School Superintendent Scott Carpenter identified the boy as Kyi Bourne, a kindergartner at Harwich Elementary School.

"We share our deepest condolences with the family for their unimaginable loss, and are here to support them through this difficult time," Carpenter said.

The Orleans Fire Department responded to 177 Route 6A at approximately 8:40 p.m. Saturday, the state Department of Fire Services said in a statement. Upon arrival, smoke and fire was observed from the second floor of the two-and-a-half floor building.

One person was unaccounted for, prompting a second alarm from mutual aid from neighboring fire departments. The missing person, later identified as Kyi Bourne, was found and transported to Cape Cod Hospital, where he later died.

“Our hearts go out to the loved ones of this young man," Orleans Fire Chief Geof Deering said in a statement posted to the department's Facebook page. "I am incredibly proud of the effort put forth by our members, as well as our mutual aid partners and other agencies, who worked with purpose and poise under challenging conditions.”

The mixed-use building houses apartment units as well as office space. Reached by phone Sunday, Deering estimated that 15 people live in the building across four units. It was unknown Sunday how many occupants were in the building at the time of the fire, he said.

The fire was extinguished in 20 minutes. Five other people were also medically treated, including an Orleans police officer who was later released.

"The effort that they put in was unbelievable," Deering said of the response to the fire. "It was incredible. To work through really hot, smoky conditions in cold weather to do what they could was impressive."

Deering said the fire was contained to the affected unit, and that the family living in the unit has been displaced. Temporary shelter was provided the family through the American Red Cross, he said.

Among those displaced is Kyi's sister, a second grader at Harwich Elementary. Carpenter said Principal Christie Cutone has been in touch with the family.

"Clearly, this is when our community will be asked to rally around those in need," he said. "As we get more information, I’ll share ways we can support Kyi’s family as they grieve the loss of a child and rebuild their lives."

Carpenter said Monday that support teams and counselors will be available to students, staff and families at each Monomoy school to help people cope with the loss. Additional services will be made available at the elementary school.

"We encourage staff, families, and students to access these resources if they would be helpful," he said.

A GoFundMe page has raised more than $27,300 as of Monday morning to help the family with funeral expenses, clothing, housing and other needs moving forward. A collection has also been started for the elementary school, Carpenter said. 

Specifically, Carpenter said the family is in need of girls' clothing (size 6 or extra small), boys' clothing (4T or 5T), women's clothing (large or extra large) and men's clothing (small, medium and extra large). Gift cards for grocery stores, department stores and gas stations are also being accepted.

The fire is not believed to be suspicious, Deering said, and remains under investigation by the Orleans police and fire departments, state police assigned to the state Fire Marshal's Office and the Cape and Islands District Attorney's Office.

"Obviously this is a beyond tragic situation," Cape and Islands District Attorney Rob Galibois said Monday.