Op-Ed, One Year After Summit-Cone Tragedy

Posted on May 12, 2019

Mother's day balloons at memorial site of Summit-Cone fire tragedy

Op-ed: Jeremy Rinker, Daniel Rhodes and Mary Anne Busch: One year after Summit-Cone tragedy healing and change remains elusive.

A year ago to this date, a family seeking refuge from conflict, war and poverty was torn apart by tragedy right here in Greensboro.

As longtime Greensboro residents and ourselves one-time newly arrived professional migrants to the Triad, we always thought of our adopted home as welcoming.

When tragedy strikes a community, a welcoming community responds.

But a year after a fatal fire at the Summit-Cone Apartments complex, Greensboro has not responded in any discernible way. Much work remains to be done both to heal the community and ensure that the tragedy that occurred last year does not repeat itself.

The history is simple and tragic. On May 12, 2018, a fire in Unit G of the apartment complex at 3100 Summit Ave. led to the deaths of five children ranging in age from 18 months to almost 9 years old.

These children — Roy Hope, 8; Lisa Josiane, 7; Christopher Danny, 5; Joshua John, 3; and Trump Emmanuel Kamali, 18 months — cannot be forgotten. Speaking their names and ages reminds us of the lost potential of these young lives — potential our city, state and nation will never actualize.

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