Memorial held for boy killed in Mt. Hope fire

Posted at 2:50 PM, Dec 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-19 20:35:15-05

A choir sang songs of encouragement to help heal the spirits of the family who lost 12 year-old Fernando Castro in a house fire.

Pictures of him were pinned close to their hearts and were on display at the Jacob’s Center where the memorial service was held. Relatives describe him as a happy kid, who loved playing video games as much as he loved his animals.

“They were picking on him or his animals and he'd say 'leave them alone,’ he'd start crying,” Ramon Vasquez said.

He loved his pets so much, his family brought in stuffed animals for each kid to take as a tribute.

His mother shed tears as her sister talked about their dreams for Fernando who was taken too soon.

“It's sad because now that he's gone I can't tell him how much he meant to me, we love him,” Angelina Marquez said.

The boy was killed when flames broke out in their family home nearly three weeks ago.

His younger sister and brother are still hospitalized in critical condition.

“We're hopeful, we think they're getting stronger every day but them moving from that critical stage…it may be a long time,” Marquez said.

After the memorial, San Diego Firefighters did simulations to teach kids what to do when a fire starts.

Fernando's family says they're thankful for the support from both the first responders and everyone in the community.

“It's beautiful, I grew up in this neighborhood, I love this neighborhood… it's just been really overwhelming,” Marquez said.