Fire victim a father to one-year-old son, all were just great guys

Steve Sharratt
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MONTAGUE — Little Isaiah celebrated his first birthday on Sunday.

His father, Joey Reeves, would have made the celebration except for a terrible twist of fate.

Instead, the 19-year-old became the oldest victim of the tragic fire Saturday that claimed the lives of three teenagers, and injured a fourth, in an abandoned Charlottetown building.

"They were supposed to take shifts at watching the fire, but they all fell asleep," said friend Ashley Livingstone. "There was lots of bad stuff posted on Facebook about this, but they were all great guys."

Reeves and two friends, Brandon MacKinnon, 16, and Kenneth Irving, 15, both died in the fire, while a Grade 9 student from Cardigan (whose name has not been officially released) was able to stumble from the flaming building with severe burns just as firefighters arrived.

"This wasn’t supposed to happen ... it was just a party," posted one student friend on FB about the incident.

Some students said there was a "status update" on FB about a party being planned for Friday night at the abandoned Mt. Edward Road site. At least one person was apparently using the abandoned building as refuge for the past week.

"It was a place (fire site) that people went to party and sometimes live inside if needed," said Tristen Livingstone, who knew all the boys from when she worked at a nearby fast food restaurant.

"It’s bad that this happened to them, but they weren’t bad guys."

Emily Benoit is a student at Montague Regional High and knew one of the victims.

"It’s just a total shock to everybody," she said. "I knew Joey and he was great guy. It’s just a terrible thing to have happened."

Bad weather cancelled school across the province on Monday, but Montague Regional principal Seana Evans Renaud confirmed that grief counsellors will be available for the students when school resumes.

In an anguished post to Facebook, Isaiah’s mother wrote: "Joe you were such a good Daddy ... I will always keep those memories alive (for him). We love you so much."

Many students said the "boys" were harmless and it was just an outing to have some fun that turned horribly tragic.

"Accidents happen and it’s heartbreaking," said Tristen. "But they didn’t bring it on themselves."

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • blake llewllyn
    May 09, 2014 - 09:15

    miss you guys !

  • Nick Acorn
    April 02, 2014 - 00:53

    As a former Islander living in Edmonton I am shocked to see some of these comments. WOW! I saw the story on The National and thought I would see what the local media had to say. Safe to say some 'Islanders" sure are making some pretty harsh and disrespectful statments.

  • Darlene
    April 01, 2014 - 19:19

    RIP boys and speedy recovery wishes to the young boy who is in the Hospital.... To the ones that can't say anything nice keep your damn stupid comments to yourself and please let these families deal with their loss.... Every hear the saying "kids will be kids"? Ya it's true and I am sure a lot of you out there have done something in your past that you probably shouldn't have so stop disrespecting the families loss and start having a damn heart..... It sickens me to hear and see these hurtful comments !! Grow up and for god sakes remember NOBODY is perfect and we all make mistakes !!! I just pray for the families to have a shoulder to lean on in this sad time of their lives, no parent should have to bury their own child...... Families I am sorry for your loss may your children rest in peace and may their memories live on

  • Sad for family
    April 01, 2014 - 19:09

    So sorry for the loss of 3 boys. I can't imagine how badly the families are hurting. Kids don't always make the right choices because they haven't grown up yet and can't see the consequences the way adults do. I just can't figure out why a 19 yr old father is hanging around with 15 year old kids. Still so sorry his family and son have to go on without him.

  • Mike Rotch
    April 01, 2014 - 18:32

    After time and time again of people complaining about the comment sections because they are offended or feelings hurt, I need to post...Everyone has the right to say what they feel. Good bad or otherwise. What gives your the right to tell them they can't. IF you don't like it ..there is a very simple fix ..after your finished reading the article close the page and " DON NOT READ THE COMMENTS !!!!!! By you coming and continuing posting asking them to stop or responding, it just keeps the drama going. I"m pretty sure everyone on this comment section are nothing but kids anyway. Most would be to mature to even bother.

  • Sophie
    April 01, 2014 - 17:41

    What kind of self righteous people would comment on this story with anything other than condolences? You people have no souls ... 3 young people have died and you want to scold them beyond the grave for behaving like teenagers? I can't imagine ever reading this story and having a reaction of "well that's what they get for entering an abandoned building". You all should be ashamed ... People die every day in situations that could have been avoided but that does NOT give anyone the right to disrespect their memory by tut tutting... What good can possibly come from you sick, stupid and small minded people giving the 2 cents nobody asked for or even remotely wanted? "Angry mom" and company, do everyone a favor and shut your big stupid mouths.

  • Simone
    April 01, 2014 - 14:16

    Comments on stories where lives are lost should not be allowed. You want to make a difference? Contact Transcontinental Media the parent company and remind them that certain newspapers, under their umbrella, now disallow comments due to legal action.Freedom of the press? All for it,comments about the story by armchair sleuths? That I am totally against.I have been through similar circumstance but read about it online at the Guardian before the police even got to my door! I refused to look online at the untruths that people were making on this forum but my 12 year old read them at school(online).I had a difficult time explaining why people make uneducated comments.

  • Chris
    April 01, 2014 - 13:45

    All those who are posting unsympathetic and disrespectful posts, everyone of you would all be singing a different tune if you were in these families shoes! and you all very well could be! My condolences to the families.

  • Charlottetown Mom
    April 01, 2014 - 13:24

    Thoughts and prayers to all of the families, friends, classmates, teachers, neighbours and anyone else close to all of these boys. My heart aches for all of you. Having teenagers, I know how important it is for them to be together when something goes wrong, or just to hang out. I hope with all of this weather the boys' friends and families are able to get together to share memories of all of them to help in their time of grief. It is senseless to blame, senseless to point fingers. It is a tragedy that so many people have to cope with. Bless you all.

  • Ron
    April 01, 2014 - 12:54

    The point is, if they didn't break te law they'd be alive. Don't get upset with people for pointing this out, there's a lesson to be learned here and hopefully this won't happen again.

    • me
      April 01, 2014 - 15:57

      breaking the law doesn't get you killed and it shouldn't be a reason to shrug off someone's death

  • Paul Peters
    April 01, 2014 - 12:00

    It disgusts me that people can come to this site and write what ever they want and not be held accountable. People are grieving a tremendous loss and other people come on here with self absorbed holier than thou comments. truly GUTLESS. Im ashamed to be an Islander today

    • Melissa
      April 01, 2014 - 14:32

      I agree! It should be mandatory to state your name with your comment. I can guarantee these slims would not use remarks like they do with their name attached to their rude post! The Guardian, Please make it mandatory to use name with comment and not made up names!

  • Shame on you Guardian
    April 01, 2014 - 11:44

    Comments pertaining to articles where people have passed should never be open to comments. Proper condolences can be made via the funeral home, funeral home website or to the family directly. Anyone who would rather speak ill of the dead should do so elsewhere...or preferably not at all.

  • Unknown
    April 01, 2014 - 11:28

    Brandon MacKinnon is 15 years old. At least get the ages right, please.

  • Just a thought
    April 01, 2014 - 11:21

    I believe the Guardian in general should have disabled the comments completely. Obviously not all comments are going to be sending good wishes and prayers to the family and friends of this terrible accident. So why even give it a chance? We're obviously not all able to be respectful towards the situation, and I believe it to be quite obvious of whom I'm speaking of. I think it is absolutely disrespectful to even allow comments on such tragic stories at such tragic times.

  • Community member
    April 01, 2014 - 10:42

    Everyone has a right to their own opinion, but everyone has a responsibility to respect the friends and family of the boys. Just because you have a right to your opinion doesn't mean you have to voice it. Rip boys and constantly thinking of the boy in Halifax

  • courtney Farrell
    April 01, 2014 - 10:02

    To those of you who can read this story and only come up with judgemental and scolding comments, I pray you never have to live this kind of pain. Its a reality about a one year old growing up without a father and parents who lost their children! They were kids looking to have fun, as we all have as kids and adults! Your judgmental, unsympatheic and disrespectful comments are uncalled for and inhuman. Accidents happen everyday. Most of us are lucky our mistakes and accidents dont end in tragedy like these poor young men. So instead of passing judgement and disrespecting these young people and their loved ones, why dont you stop and be thankful youre still here to enjoy life and your loved ones. This could just as easily been anyone of us just different circumstances. Hold your children a little closer make an extra call to your loved ones so they know you love them because you never know when its going to be the last time you get the chance too. Think about it. Show some respect! Rest in peace boys, and i pray their families find the strength to endure the pain and suffering of their loss.

    • Faye
      April 01, 2014 - 13:27

      I couldn't agree more with this person's comment. None of us know when a tragedy might happen to someone we love, and none of us are perfect. My sincere sympathy to the families of thes boys, and my prayers for the young boy, and his family, who survived. RIP Boys

  • Angela Patton
    April 01, 2014 - 09:47

    Please for the sake of these families stop critizing these children!We are all only human and make mistakes .They were all great kids. How do I know? I know all the parents (most personally)and most of these kids have been at our home and are friends with my son.So please keep your negative comments to yourself. There is a family waking their son today so PLEASE have some compassion and empathy (if you even know what those words mean).Thank you to all the people who show respect to the families and have left kind and caring messages.Our hearts are broken and I can't even start to image how the families are coping.RIP Joey,Brandon&Kenneth.

  • Chris Macdonald
    April 01, 2014 - 09:37


    • R Sheldrake
      April 01, 2014 - 13:51

      They are not being disrespectful at all. They are simply pointing out that if those teens had not have been in that building illegally , this tragedy would not have occurred. That is a fact.

  • Mary Smith
    April 01, 2014 - 09:12

    To all the people chastizing those who are expressing an honest and logical thought on this forum, they have the right to do so, just as you have the right to express your grief. Getting angry about others judging others when you're doing that very same thing is hypocritical and takes away from your genuine feelings of sadness. To the true family members of these boys, you must have something better to do right now than argue on social media with people who don't share your thoughts. You must! I know I would.

    • brassun
      April 01, 2014 - 16:34

      So true!! Why get caught up in this social media if you are the family!? fact is the public is allowed their opinion and often there is a lot of truth in their skepticism. This wasn't just some innocent hangout, lets be real.

  • Rm
    April 01, 2014 - 08:44

    I Agree with MM. Heartless.

  • Angry Mom
    April 01, 2014 - 08:27

    My heartfelt condolences go out to the families of these three young men and I hope the fourth boy is able to make a full recovery. We all fervently wish we could turn back the clock to last week before this senseless tragedy took place. No, this is not the place nor time to express my opinion but I MUST say something about this "kids will be kids" attitude. "Kids will be kids" is hanging out at the Mall. "Kids will be kids" is going to the movies. "Kids will be kids" is going to Dairy Queen or Wendy's for a burger. "Kids will be kids" is not trespassing, breaking into an abandoned building and starting a fire on someone else's property. This is not an accident. This is not beyond someone's control. It's a tragedy that could have been avoided. My kids are not perfect. They will make mistakes. My son is 15-years-old and we live in Charlottetown. It would be totally beyond my comprehension that he would be in Summerside at 5:00 a.m. wandering the streets and then starting a fire in an abandoned building to keep warm. He is a child. He is 15-years-old. You do a disservice to our young people when you tell them this was kids having fun and imply that this could happen to anyone. Please talk about this incident (not accident) to your children. Remind them that although you may not appreciate getting a call in the early morning hours, you will pick them up wherever at any hour or arrange for them to get to a safe place. Learn from this tragedy so that it doesn't happen again. Our children are precious and you cannot turn back the clock of time.

    • Angie
      April 01, 2014 - 13:46

      Most sensible thing I have read since this horrible incident hit the news. Yes, of course people feel for the families and friends of these boys, however, it doesn't mean everyone should pretend that this was not very much preventable. I hope also that parents take this opportunity to have a real honest and open conversation with their kids so hopefully something so terrible is not repeated.

    • Observer
      April 01, 2014 - 16:47

      I Agree Angry Mom!! There is no dispute that this is such a tragedy for all the families involved!! However, there is a lesson to be learned here for all. Teenagers at the age of 15 and 16 are not adults and apparently have to be watched much closer so this cannot happen again! You do not break into someone else's property and set up camp without consequences. That building was boarded up for a reason - to be torn down and was not safe. No one had the right to be in there. It is NOT just teenagers having fun! If you want to have fun, then do it wisely so this will never happen again!! My sympathy goes out to all the families for this was a senseless incident which hopefully teenagers will learn from.

    • Arron Corrigan
      April 01, 2014 - 18:48

      I'm with Angry Mom all the thoughts exactly!

    • Montague Mom
      April 01, 2014 - 21:09

      Thank You 'Angry Mom'. You clearly have stated what I have felt from the beginning of this event. I had a heart to heart discussion with my sons about what happened. Too many parents have a lackadaisical attitude to parenting and take the 'kids will be kids' approach. It's sad that I had to use this event as a life lesson for my children. I hope that history will not repeat itself and all parents talk honestly with their kids over this matter.

    • There is a place for no name.
      April 01, 2014 - 22:50

      My condolences to the family but I can't agree more. We have two, 15 and 11. We have talked to them in the same terms. This is not an accident. This is why there are rules in our house. On the topic of naming names. In a small province diseased with politics such as ours sometimes ideas can be delivered in a forum such as this that would never be spoken otherwise. Not everyone agrees with their employer but most would not like to loose their jobs over it.

  • Julie R
    April 01, 2014 - 08:15

    I hope my comment will start a trend here. To the families, my heart aches for you all. I can not begin to imagine the pain you are all going though. I pray God will place his hand on your hearts, and guide you through. May your hearts be flooded with love and warmed with fond memories of your loved ones. God Bless.

  • sad
    April 01, 2014 - 08:04

    Never. Point fingers at anyone it just sad for the family's of these young boys. Never judge. Show respect. God bless you all. R. I. P.

  • Been through this
    April 01, 2014 - 06:19

    The soul burn victim whom survived is in the best hands possible. I have experianced this before and he has an amazing staff working on him. There's no better place for him then in the hands of the QEII ICU and burn unit. Thinking about all the families involed your all in my thoughts and prayers!

  • Lawyer
    April 01, 2014 - 06:11

    The owners of this property had better lawyer up! The families of these victims may have a case to hold them liable.

    • huh
      April 01, 2014 - 06:25

      not much chance of that.

    • Lawyer 2
      April 01, 2014 - 06:36

      .....or not. Perhaps responsibility lies elsewhere. Bad comment!

    • seriously
      April 01, 2014 - 09:46

      Why would you have to make a comment like that. Can't you just pay your respects to the family without bringing more negativity?

    • seriously!
      April 01, 2014 - 11:59

      Are you serious?!?! The property owner has nothing to do with what happened to those poor kids and you should be ashamed for even saying such a thing! RIP to the kids that passed away and best of luck to the guy in Halifax! If people can't say their condolences and best wishes they should really keep quiet as the family sure doesn't need the attitudes right now!

    • Know the law
      April 01, 2014 - 13:07

      These people who died were trespassing illegally and they started a fire which is arson. Why don't you wait until the investigation is finished before trolling like this?

  • Sad Occasion
    April 01, 2014 - 04:57

    I am truly feeling bad for all those involved, but I have to admit some confusion over the reaction of people to what happened here. These were teenagers who were trespassing, breaking and entering and by some reports under aged drinking. And the friends of these young men continue to repeat, "It wasn't their fault and they were just having fun." These men and others made the decision to go to a location where they had no right to be, so the unfortunate outcome was their doing. I am more upset that their friends who have been left behind appear to have missed the learning message. Two wrongs do not make a right.

    • demayed
      April 01, 2014 - 06:07

      to sad occasion I have one question when you were that age you never did anything wrong ,tell a lie , not tell parents where you were, maybe under age were a saint right???lmao...ya right

    • Audrey Wallace
      April 01, 2014 - 06:25

      TO Sad you not have a name ???? I suppose you were perfect when you were a teenager !! Well if you were, you are far from perfect now to make these comments. And you are GUTLESS to not SIGN YOUR NAME !!!!! My deepest sympathy & prayers to all these grieving families. And prayers to the young man in Halifax hospital. God Bless you all.

    • seriously...
      April 01, 2014 - 06:27

      There's a time and a place for your comments... this is not it! Let the community grieve without having to deal with your two cents...

    • Davin
      April 01, 2014 - 06:35

      Your cliche is misplaced and inappropriate.

    • Close By
      April 01, 2014 - 06:46

      Agreed, Sad Occasion. If, what they had done was to steal a car and get into a crash due to negligence, inexperience, etc., then there would be no doubt that they were at fault and not the owner of the vehicle (property). Taking over someone else's property and causing themselves harm can can be blamed back to the owner. My opinion only, of course. As heartbreaking as the outcome is for all concerned, blaming it on the owners for having a property the lads could trespass onto after breaking in is illogical.

    • Cornwall girl
      April 01, 2014 - 07:31

      I agree with sad occasion and close by. It was wrong what they were doing. They shouldn't have been there and now there are extremely tragic consequences.

    • Beth
      April 01, 2014 - 07:42

      My God I can't get over how much we seem to judge our fellow man over everything. Life is precious and we've lost 3 very young people . I think that little boy in the pic isn't going to care who's at fault when he gets older. Nor are the parents , family, or friends! At this time send love, kindness and if nothing else be quiet. I don't know these boys personally but my heart is big enough to feel sadness . Happy Birthday little one you now have a very special angel watching over you as you grow up XOX~

    • MM
      April 01, 2014 - 08:14

      Sad occasion, your comment is appalling and un necessary. It made my stomach drop. You must have been quite the saint to have never drank, lied or partied. You must not have a single sin to your name. If you have children and think their perfect, think again. The Island is grieving, family and friends are overwhelmed with an indescribable amount of pain, therefore your comment contributed nothing positive to this terrible accident. What if these boys decided to drink and drive instead of staying the night? They did the smart thing. I hope you find something better to do with your storm day than making negative comments towards this sad time in many's life. RIP boys.

    • JP
      April 01, 2014 - 08:32

      They made bad decisions that had tragic consequences. It would have been the same if they had been driving too fast and not wearing seatbelts- both illegal and their deaths would have still been tragic. Many of us are very fortunate that the mistakes we made in our youth didn't mean the same fate as these young men.

    • Close By
      April 01, 2014 - 08:38

      MM, point taken. They could have caused harm to others as well as to themselves. Also, my intent is not to show disrespect to either the victims or the family. My point was that "Lawyer" is mistaken in thinking that this can be used to blame the property owners.

    • K
      April 01, 2014 - 10:43

      Utterly egotistical and insular comment. This is nothing short of a tragedy. Sincere thoughts and prayers from Toronto.

    • fed up
      April 01, 2014 - 11:26

      Maybe the three of you holier than thou types should get in your car this afternoon. Pop by Ferguson's Funeral Home, stand in line with hundreds of grieving family and friends, and when you get up to the parents, look them in the eye..all of you...and give them your opinion exactly as you stated here...from the comfort of your anonymous computers.

    • Sonya MacLeod
      April 01, 2014 - 11:51

      Sad Occasion is merely stating some thoughts that though unpopular at this time are quite valid. Of course at one point or another most people have made a fool hardy choice, drank underage, any number of things. That does not change the fact that if folks want to do the memory of these boys justice we should all use this tragic outcome as a teachable moment. Sit down and have open discussion with our kids. Yes the outcome of the choices these boys made is horrific, however, more disturbing is that anyone could try to defend it.

    • Gordie
      April 01, 2014 - 12:37

      You were the one in the FRONT ROW every Sunday, Right?

    • Rob
      April 01, 2014 - 13:41

      Sad Occasion is absolutely correct. While what happened was very tragic, these teens made a bad decision, which led to this. Sometimes bad decisions lead to losing your life, that is a fact. You can't whitewash the facts just because something tragic happens.