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Family of man who ran back inside burning home and died speaks about tragedy

Posted at 5:31 PM, Jan 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-01 20:08:50-05

Fire officials say the fatal fire that happened on Saturday in Jeanerette started in the kitchen when the victim was cooking.

Fire officials say the 25-year-old got his family out safely but ran back inside.

“The next minute, I heard him hollering, ‘There’s a fire, Momma; come on,'” said Denetra Polidore, the mother of Raynell Polidore who died in the fire.

Denetra, her daughter, and a friend living with them escaped the fire. She says her son ran back inside to grab something but never made it back out.

“It was like, I was just terrified because I was just wanting my son to come out from there. I was just saying, ‘I want my baby,” she said.

His friends and family say he was the provider for the family, and they believe he might’ve run back inside for his wallet.

“Raynell had just really started working and getting into the swing of things,” said a childhood friend, Jules Anderson. “We believe that in the mist of everything going on, he’s always looking to help somebody, whatever it was. Based upon his heart, we already know it probably wasn’t about him. It was probably about someone else, trying to help his mom.”

He was just a week shy of turning 26, and this Saturday, on his birthday, Denetra will be mourning the loss of not only Raynell but also his twin brother, who died 13 years ago.

“I think he’s in a better place because he always wanted to be with his brother. He always said, ‘Momma, I want to be with my brother.’ And, he’s there now,” said the mother.

Before he died, Raynell made one request to his mother.

“He was, like, saying ‘Momma, all I want you to do is on Saturday the 5th, I need you to go to the graveyard. Make sure everybody prays at my brother’s grave.’ Also, he  said, ‘I need you to bring flowers and 26 balloons to release that day,'” she said tearing up. “And, as all this happened, I realized it must’ve been God calling him to come home.”

The family is in need of donations.

The family’s local church has set up two ways you can donate money to them.

You can click this link and donate to their fundraiser through Facebook, or you can text DaLight Church at 77977 and follow the instructions on the link it sends to your phone.

If you would like to donate clothes, here are their sizes:

– Women’s sizes for mother and daughter:

– 22 bottoms, 3X tops

– 17/18 bottoms, XL tops

– Shoe sizes 10 & 9

– Men’s sizes for their family friend living with them:

– 34 bottoms, L tops

– Size 12 shoes