‘My pride and joy’: Brothers killed in Paulding fire remembered as loving, kind

Credit: GoFundMe

Credit: GoFundMe

A couple are planning the funeral of their two teenage sons after their Paulding County home caught on fire Friday.

Robert Deaton, 17, died in the front yard after firefighters were able to rescue him and his brother from the upstairs of the home, Paulding fire spokesman Steve Mapes said. Caleb Deaton, 13, died at the hospital.

“Robert and Caleb were my pride and joy in every way,” Kati Wall-Lawrence wrote on a GoFundMe campaign created to help raise funds for the boys’ funeral. “It has been an honor to be the mother of these two amazing souls. I am irrevocably heartbroken, and I don’t know how to even process my loss right now.”

ExploreAuthorities ID teen brothers killed in Paulding County fire

The blaze broke out at the home along Baskin Road about 3:15 p.m. By the time crews got to the scene a few minutes later, about 50 percent of the home was compromised, Mapes said. At that point, firefighters did not know if anyone was inside, but crews began searching for victims while extinguishing the flames.

No one else was home at the time of the fire, Mapes said. The cause is still under investigation.

Paulding fire Deputy Chief Joey Pelfrey told Channel 2 Action News that any loss of life due to a fire impacts the entire community.

“It rips you apart,” he said. “It rips this whole community apart that something like this happened.”

Robert Deaton was a former South Paulding High School student and Caleb Deaton was a seventh grader at Scoggins Middle School, the school district confirmed.

“According to his teachers, Caleb was passionate about art and the outdoors. Scoggins Middle School has been in touch with the family and has offered its support during this extremely difficult time,” the district wrote in a statement. “Our hearts go out to the family following this tragic loss.”

Credit: Paulding County Fire and Rescue

Credit: Paulding County Fire and Rescue

The GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $14,000. Multiple people have left comments trying to comfort the family and sending their condolences.

“I’m so very sorry for your loss. No words to describe the pain your family is facing,” a donator wrote. “Thoughts and prayers going up for your family.”