CLEVELAND - A Mogadore family of a young soldier is now planning for a funeral. Close friends said a devastating fire, that broke out at an apartment complex just outside of Fort Hood in Texas, killed 19-year-old Seth Soulsby.
The young soldier's father told NewsChannel5 his son had been stationed at Fort Hood for about one year. He received word of his son's death Friday. Now, not just family but close friends of the young soldier are also mourning, still in disbelief.
"To find out he passed in a fire...that's what really makes it worse," said Chris Harris. He and his wife, Penny, said his house was home away from home for Soulsby, who was close friends with their daughters. Others who knew Soulsby described a similar loving relationship.
"He was like a brother to me," said Angela Perkow. "We did a lot together, snowball fights, airsoft gun wars." Perkow said airsoft guns were a favorite of Soulsby's, who used to pretend he was practicing for the Army.
Perkow fought back tears as NewsChannel5 talked to her. "He wanted to join. He said he always wanted to join."
Off camera, Soulsby's father talked about that same love for his country. Soulsby said the family is working with the military to have their son's body flown back to Mogadore so he can be laid to rest in Ohio.
Meanwhile, the family told NewsChannel5 the military, along with local authorities, are investigating the fire incident which is said to be the cause of Soulsby's death. The blaze reportedly killed three people early Friday morning and left another 30 without a home.
A spokesperson for the Department of Defense was not available to comment Sunday.
NewsChannel5 will provide updates as more information becomes available.