Prude Death Investigation

Still no answers on High Street Fire arson, family not giving up hope

Local News

Brittany Meehan has a scrapbook of memories, of Virginia Ortiz and her two children, three-year-old Ameeya and six-year-old Willie Nelson Junior.

It’s all she has left, after they died in a house fire at their home on 99 high street September 17th, 2016.

Ortiz was her best friend and sister-in-law.

“She was so family oriented. She was always the cook. She could cook anything; do your hair,” Meehan said.

Ortiz died a hero when she ran back into the house, trying to save the two kids.

It’s nearly been a year since they died, and Meehan says it’s been a tough one. She’s raising Ortiz’s two surviving children.

“It’s hard. Every day is something new,” she said.

Particularly hard she says, because questions remain about who started the fire that was declared an arson soon after it happened.

“There was an incident right before involving another girl and that was their lead suspect, but no, there weren’t enemies besides that.

Meehan says they’re holding a benefit Sunday to keep the case on the forefront of everyone’s minds.

“It’s going to be at Antonetta’s and we’re just going to have snacks, tacos and nachos, that kind of thing,” Meehan said.

She’s hopeful they’ll raise money to properly bury Ortiz and the kids, something the family hasn’t been able to do.

“It was almost six thousand dollars for the headstone alone and we’re halfway there,” Meehan explained. It’s hard to go there. There’s just flowers that we plant. It should already have their name on it and their picture on it.”

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