Benefit Planned for Bridgeport Fire Victims

A benefit to help the victims of the March 17 apartment fire in Bridgeport is scheduled from 1-6 p.m. Sunday at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 56381 National Road, Brookside.

There will be soup and sandwiches for sale, crafts and other vendors, a 50-50 raffle, an auction and a clothing drive. For more information, call organizer Addy Beasley at 304-238-4729.

Beasley, a Bellaire resident and friend of the Looby family whose three children died in the fire, said as of Monday the mother – Caroline Jean Owens – still is recovering in a Pittsburgh hospital. She has received several surgeries for burn wounds.

”This morning (the family) told me she is doing much better. She is breathing 100 percent on her own,” Beasley said, noting Owens has a tracheotomy and cannot speak.

She said Owens periodically will wake up and mouth words about the fire and ask about her children. It still is not clear if she understands or remembers what has happened to them, Beasley said.

”They keep telling her, but she doesn’t want to hear it,” Beasley added.

Beasley said the father – Joshua A. Looby – has been released from the hospital and is at home recovering with family members’ help. The children’s funeral service was held Saturday at St. Paul.

Beasley said the Looby family is seeking clothing donations. For Looby, men’s medium shirts and size 30 waist/30 length pants are needed. Owens is in need of women’s extra large tops and extra large pants – cotton only. Food and baked goods still are being accepted for the sale, and takeout containers also are needed.

The Ohio Fire Marshal’s Office still is investigating the blaze.

Donations for another family whose apartment was destroyed in the fire also are being taken. Sizes needed include: women’s 14-16 pants, extra large shirts, shoes size 8; men’s 32 or 34 waist pants, large shirts, shoes size 8; and 10-year-old boy size 8 pants, medium shirts, shoe size 4.