GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Even though it's a holiday weekend, numerous kids showed up to Glendale High School to participate in a good cause. They showed up to raise money for the family of a teen killed in a house fire.
“You look around and there are so many people here who loved him here at Glendale High School,” said Melvin Martin, whose son, Elijah, died in a house fire on Aug. 22. “My son wanted to be happy. He didn't want nobody to be sad because he was a very happy kid. And all the kids here at Glendale, I want to thank them all for what they have been doing."
Elijah was at his aunt's home near Bethany Home Road and 61st Avenue visiting his cousin when the fire broke out. He and his aunt, Helen Russell, were asleep and ended up getting trapped inside. Elijah couldn’t get out on his own because he was confined to a wheelchair.
“He's in a better place," Martin said. "He's rested now. He's in a better place."
Money raised on Saturday will go toward funeral expenses. Elijah's funeral is set for next Saturday.
“What's keeping me together right now is just all this love and support that I'm getting from everyone," Martin said. "My fiancee has been there for me, my son has been there for me, my kids, all of my family, friends and everyone have been there for me. That's what keeps me going, keeps me happy."
The cause of the fire is still being investigated by the Glendale Fire Department.
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