- Associated Press - Saturday, January 31, 2015

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - The aunt of two boys who died in a Big Island house fire said firefighters found the older child on top of his brother, protecting him.

Six-year-old Kaeden Matsuyama and 11-year-old Dexen Matsuyama didn’t make it out of a burning home near Holualoa Elementary School, where they were both students.

Kaeden got scared and tried to run into a closet, and Dexen went back to try to get him, Rebecca Kauwe, the boys’ aunt, told West Hawaii Today (https://ow.ly/Ih9Ra).

“His brother went back, and by the time he got back to him, it was too late,” she said. “He protected his brother and held onto him.”

The boys’ parents and two sisters, ages 3 and 16, were able to escape the fire early Thursday.

The family is grateful for support from the community, grandmother Irene Agustin said.

The blaze destroyed all the family’s belongings. Community members have been donating furniture, clothes, household items and money. As of Friday, a GoFundMe effort had raised more than $24,000 for the family.

Agustin remembered Dexen as a smart student who was good with computers and robotics. He was looking forward to attending Kealakehe Intermediate School.

“They were so loving,” she said. “The boys were happy whenever they were asked to give a talk at church.”

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Information from: West Hawaii Today, https://www.westhawaiitoday.com

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