A family who made headlines last year after the mother walked into the middle of the Baltimore riots and literally pulled her teen son away from the chaos, is now looking to pick up the pieces of a broken home after an apartment fire has essentially left them homeless.
Some called Toya Graham “Mother of the Year” while others questioned her parenting tactics, but after the incident, the young rioter, Michael Singleton, who was 16-years-old at the time, said – although embarrassing – it set him straight.
“I understand how much my mother really cares about me,” Singleton said in an interview last year following the incident. “So I’m just gonna try and do better.”
Singleton made good on his promise and enrolled in the Job Corps. But while home over the weekend, Singleton was cooking chicken strips when the pan caught fire. Graham said her son panicked and threw water on the grease fire, which of course, caused the fire to instantly spread.
Singleton and his sister, who were the only ones home at the time, were able to get out of the apartment. Singleton also went to the neighbor’s door to tell them to get out as well. A short time later, Graham returned home to a street filled with fire trucks, ambulances and police cars.
Now, the family is essentially homeless. Graham, who lived at the home with her five children and grandchild, said the Red Cross set them up with funds for a hotel room, but the money is being used up quickly. Graham did not have renter’s insurance and must now start over. She said the fire is just another obstacle in a long line of recent challenges that she has to overcome, but in the end she’s just thankful nobody was hurt.
A Go Fund Me account has been set up for Graham and her family and in just under a week has so far raised almost $76,000, far surpassing the original goal of $5,000.
[ Baltimore Sun ]