Lynnwood Townhouse Apartments Fire
by Mario Lotmore
Hundreds attended the Memorial Service at First Lutheran Richmond Beach in Shoreline for Mardoqueo,7, and Victoria Jimenez-Lopez, 15, the victims of the Lynnwood Townhouse Apartments fire.
Roxanne Vasquez, a relative of the family, remembered Mardoqueo as an “old soul” who loved to play with Legos. She described Victoria as quiet and friendly. Vasquez expressed that the tragic death of a child is every parent’s worst nightmare.
To the piano instrumental of Rolf Løvland’s “You Raise Me Up,” parents Nelson and Anna along with over a dozen family members led a procession to the alter in tribute of Mardoqueo and Victoria. Pastor Hector Garfias-Toldeo of Trinity Lutheran lead the worship, followed by Pastor Oscar Vasquez, who delivered a message to the family of children going to Heaven. After “Amazing Grace” performed by Elizabeth Nunes, Pastor Jorge Saquic of Iglesia Bautista El Buen church led the closing scripture.
Both parents shared how Mardoqueo was an old soul. “[He] was an adult in a child’s body. He knew everything and always had a topic to discuss with us,” said Nelson Jimenez. “People would tell me he was a fine gentleman and very polite,” said Anna.
“Victoria liked to joke with us and loved her phone,” said Jimenez. “She wanted to be a teacher and loved drawing cartoons, editing videos and mixing music,” said Anna.
The parents shared that Mardoqueo wanted to be a police officer, a fire fighter, and a pilot for the Blue Angels when he grew up. He enjoyed playing with Dinosaur Legos that the dog would destroy and building houses out of cardboard. They also recalled how just a week earlier Mardoqueo was named Student of the Week at school.
When asked how you would like for Victoria to be remembered, Anna replied holding back tears, “Victoria was a happy child and always thought about the future. There were no bad memories… only pure love.” Jimenez wants everyone to remember that Mardoqueo was a fun, intelligent, happy and social young man.
Both Anna and Nelson would like to thank the community for its support and are very grateful for the outpouring of love and assistance.
Three members of the American Red Cross of Snohomish County Disaster Action Team – Kathy Kennard, Jessie Shertzer, and Jayne Gracon – privately discussed assistance options in physical health services, mental health services and spiritual care with the parents of the victims.
Battalion Chief, Steve Mason, Captain Castellon and other firefighters of South County Fire attended the ceremony to pay their respects to the family. Both parents thanked the fire fighters for their efforts.
The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that the children died of smoke inhalation and classified the incident as accidental. The fire broke out at 2:40 p.m. Sunday, November 3 at the Lynnwood Townhouse Apartments. More than 45 firefighters responded to the scene that also displaced fifteen residents.