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Fire that killed man and 6-year-old boy near downtown Colorado Springs was accidental

November 13, 2017 Updated: November 14, 2017 at 6:16 am
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The man and child who died in a Colorado Springs fire Friday afternoon have been identified as 40-year-old Michael Ashly and 6-year-old Devyn Johnson, the El Paso County Coroner's office said Monday. (Ellie Mulder, The Gazette)

A 6-year-old boy who died in a duplex fire Friday was a "very outgoing" and smart first-grader at Pikes Peak Prep charter school, his mother said Monday.

Devyn Johnson and his great-uncle Michael Ashley, 40, died in the fire at the family's home at 739 E. Cucharras St.

Devyn's 2-year-old brother, DomNyk C. Johnson, is hospitalized in Denver and "pulling through," said their mother, Valecia Gabriella Ashley.

The great-uncle and brothers were the only people home when the fire started, said fire Lt. Kevin Ducy.

Devyn Johnson (Photo via GoFundMe page) 

Devyn died at a local hospital, and his great-uncle died at the home, police said. The 2-year-old was flown to Denver in critical condition.

The other half of the duplex was undamaged, Ducy said. Bridgett Montano and her dog escaped that unit.

Montano said she saw firefighters trying to resuscitate Devyn. "It was traumatic," she said.

"Devyn was my first born son, and he meant everything to me and his sister and brother," Ashley wrote in a message to The Gazette. He "loved to help out (in) any way" and thought "no one could do any wrong."

She also has a daughter, Janai Wolf, 11, and said the siblings were "very close."

"I miss him very much," the mother said.

She said she's planning a wake where she wants laughter, not sorrow. Her fundraising page for the wake - gofundme.com/for-devyn-johnson-my-six-year-old-p - had brought in more than $2,100 by Monday evening.

Ashley wrote that Devyn "will always and forever be in my heart."

She said the family will have to find a new place to live, but for now she's staying in Denver to be near her 2-year-old son.

Police said their preliminary fire investigation found no criminal conduct, and the Fire Department now is investigating the cause of the blaze.

Firefighters did not provide a damage estimate.

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The Gazette's Hugh Johnson contributed to this report.

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