Family says second child has died from fire in Franklinton

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–Two little boys are dead after the second fatal fire in a west Columbus neighborhood in one week.

Six families are out of their homes after this most recent fire, and firefighters are once again warning about smoke detectors.

The boys died after an apartment fire early Thursday morning on West Town Street in Franklinton.

Twenty-four-year-old Brook Stalnaker got out with 11-month-old Kayson.

Her other sons, five-year-old Keenyn Herral and four-year-old Kentley Butcher were still inside.

The boys’ grandfather Jeff Stalnaker cries as he says, “Nobody expects to lose two kids in one day.”

Jeff and his wife Tracy are grandparents in mourning.

“She’s in shock, we’re all in shock. Don’t know what to do,” says Tracy. “Grandparents aren’t supposed to bury grandkids.”

The fire started around 1 a.m. in Brook’s basement apartment. The older boys were in a back bedroom.

Crews rushed to clear the three-story building and rescue those little boys.

Keeynan died at the scene. Little Kentley died at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Jeff and Tracy said.

Firefighters do not believe the apartment had working smoke detectors.

“This community has been hit hard over the last couple of days with the number of fatalities and fires,” says Columbus Fire Battalion Chief Tracy Smith.

Now, Jeff and Tracy Stalnaker are left to mourn.

“We were fine last night, but now we’re devastated. We’re done,” says Tracy.

That first fatal fire was Monday on Brehl Ave. was also in Franklinton. A man and woman in their 60s died.

A bus has been brought in to keep victims out of the cold. The Red Cross will be helping them find shelter. Electric service has been restored to part of the building, and some residents are now being allowed back inside.

If you do not have a working smoke detector, reach out to the Columbus Fire Department. They’ll give you one for free and even help install it.

The Grove City Vineyard Church is accepting donations to help cover the cost of the boys funeral. Checks with “Keenyn and Kentley” in the memo can be sent to 3005 Holt Road,
Grove City, Ohio 43123. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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