Fire victims are "just normal people"

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Posted: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 5:25 pm | Updated: 8:08 am, Wed Jan 9, 2013.

Brian Robertson loved hanging out with “Pops” Harvey and hopes to be able to do the same thing again soon. He and his girlfriend Kim also enjoyed hanging out with Melissa and Jermaine Harvey.

They lived just two houses down on Ginnalou Drive and developed a pretty close relationship since he and Kim moved onto the street two years ago.

“Then you had the babies,” Robertson said Tuesday.

The babies.

He loved the babies. Their smiles were addictive. Tuesday, the events of Monday night were too fresh. Images of the fire that took the lives of Ariel and little Byron Harvey combined with memories of trips they took to the park, meals they ate, games they played.

“Spending time with those babies was probably the greatest thing in the world. I never knew how much I took it for granted until now,” Robertson said.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the fatal house fire. Melissa Harvey, Leonard Jermaine Harvey, Jr., and Leonard Jermaine “Pops” Harvey were also injured in the blaze. Robertson said he tried to enter the burning home but was pulled away by authorities.

Robertson said the Harveys are “just normal people.”

“They’re just down home. They opened up their house to us just as soon as we moved there. They let us play with the kids whenever we wanted. I mean, if we just wanted to go down there and sit with them and watch the kids play, we could do that any time we wanted.”

Robertson said he enjoyed spending time with Pops because they had some of the same interests.

“I mean, we just hit it off,” Robertson said. “He’s probably the second person I can ever remember just instantaneously befriending. We hung out all the time, just sitting around and talking about nothing.

“All of their family, every one I have ever met, they’re just down home people. Just regular folks. They are never trying to be flashy or something they weren’t,” Robertson added.

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