‘A Lantern During Dark Times’: School Rallies Behind Teacher, Family Affected by Fire

One of the most terrifying moments teacher Emily Espinal and her family ever experienced was a fire that spread from a next-door neighbor’s attic to their home last month. A few days into 2021, the bedroom of Espinal’s 6-year-old daughter Mia — filled with newly opened Christmas presents on the second floor — was extensively damaged in the middle of the night. Espinal and her family made it out of their house, unharmed, on Jan. 3.

Family Members Lost in House Fire Laid to Rest

At an emotional bilingual funeral Mass at Holy Child Jesus Church in Richmond Hill on July 29, family, friends and parishioners mourned the deaths of parishioners Silvia Umana and her children, Gilbert and Guadalupe, who perished in a July 21 house fire.