East Durham fire victims mourned by local community


A community is coming together to pay their respects to five members of a family that died in a fire Monday morning.

Calling hours were held Sunday at Millspaugh-Camerato Funeral Home, and hundreds of people came to show their love for the Mammano family devastated by tragedy. 

Nick and Mary Mammano and their 3 grandchildren, 10-year-old Jonathen, 7-year-old Sophia and 8-year-old Jayden Caffey were all killed in a fire at their home in East Durham Monday morning.

Nearly a week later, family, friends and community members came to pay their respects and rallying behind them.

For four hours they came to the funeral home, offering any support they can for the Mammano family.

“I feel that this is a tremendous loss for the community,” said Noele Eyton-Jones, who lives in Cairo.

The loss of the Mammano family is being felt throughout the Cairo-Durham area.

“The whole town knows everybody so if something happens to one, it happens to all,” said Louis Benevento, a local school bus driver who brought Jonathen and Jayden to school.

“I used to see them everyday, so I’m going to be looking without seeing. There’s going to be a vacuum there,” Benevento said.

He along with Lee Stowe, the elementary school’s band director will miss Johnathen’s spirit.

“He was definitely one of the hardest workers I had and he always came into the room with a smile on his face and just gave it everything he had, and his energy was infectious,” Stowe said.

Theresa and Helen Eyton-Jones will cherish the times they had in class with Jayden and Sophia.

“He was really sweet, innocent. Normally he was really funny,” said Theresa Eyton-Jones.

“We all liked to play together,” said Helen Eyton-Jones.

It’s a tragedy that’s touched the lives of many including Noele Eyton-Jones who went to church with them and her kids who went to school with Jonathen and Sophia.

“I feel that this is a tremendous loss for the community. Cairo-Durham is a very tight-knight community and losing five people in one instance is heartbreaking. I don’t think any of us will be the same for quite a while,” Eyton-Jones said.

Then there’s Nick and Mary Mammano, their love for their community and 68 years together will remain a treasure, even for those who didn’t know them.

“Just hit home,” said Anthony Lalia, who lives in the Durham area.

“I felt connected to them,” said Suzanne Gabler, also from the Durham area.

A tragedy that won’t be forgotten.

“Losing five people in one instance is heartbreaking. I don’t think any of us will be the same for quite a while,” said Noele Eyton-Jones

The father of the children was the lone survivor of the fire and continues to recover from his injuries in a Syracuse hospital.

NEWS10 ABC was told they had a camera filming the calling hours inside so he could watch them from his hospital bed.


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