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Only on 10: Family remembers father, son who died in fire

Victims identified as 47-year-old Edward Lorenzen of Coventry and his 4-year-old son, Michael Lorenzen. (Submitted photo)

The life of a wide-eyed, loving, four-year-old Rhode Island boy was cut tragically short in a fire.

Michael Lorenzen died in a house fire in Coventry along with his dad, Edward Lorenzen, on January 26.

Edward's two other children, Zacheri and Penny, were able to escape.

The children were visiting their father at his home in Coventry. Zacheri, 13, was in the basement of a home on Colonial Road when a noise came from upstairs.

“I heard banging on the ceiling. I went upstairs, saw my sister there staring at fire in the living room,” Zacheri told NBC 10 News.

The smoke was so thick, Zacheri never saw his father or little brother, but he did see his sister. With seconds to act, he grabbed two-year-old Penny, ran out of the home, and called 911.

When firefighters arrived, Zacheri began shouting at them.

“I screamed at them, ‘There's two people in the house,’” Zacheri said. “My brother and my father and there's a dog down there, as well.”

The dog was saved, but it was too late for Michael and Edward.

Yet, first responders and Zacheri's mother, Kelli Lorenzen, said it could have been even more tragic if not for Zacheri's quick actions.

“He didn't just save Penny that night,” Kelli said. “He saved himself, too.”

Zacheri said his sister, Penny, means the world to him.

“Ever since she was born, I've loved her with all my heart. And I would never let anything bad happen to her," Zacheri said.

More than two weeks after the deadly fire, the cause remains under investigation.

For now, Kellie is focused on remembering her ex-husband and her little boy: she called him "Bug." She said it's his hugs she misses most.

“I must miss him climbing in my bed every night because I wake up every night looking for him,” Kellie said.

There are several fundraisers happening to raise money for the Lorenzen family. The Applebee’s Grill and Bar in Coventry, located at 830 Centre of New England Boulevard, is hosting two events for the family. On Feb. 22, the restaurant will donate 15 percent of its proceeds to the Lorenzen family. There will also be a Flapjack Fundraiser at the restaurant on Feb. 24 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Each ticket is $10.

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