OLD TOWN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — It's been two weeks since a fire in Old Town claimed the lives of a 34-year-old woman and her two young children.
Now, her sister is hosting a benefit concert in their name. Hannah Somers-Jones is hosting the benefit concert in memory of her older sister Maiysha Somers-Jones, and her sister's two children: 10-year-old Isis and 8-year-old Zebulon.
"Zebulon was a ham," Somers-Jones said. "He was so sensitive and sweet and compassionate. I've never encountered another human being who had such tangible, real, solid love."
She also has fond memories of her niece and said she was in the hospital delivery room when she was born.
"The first picture I took of her, I was looking at her in her crib and I brought my camera out to take a picture and she went, 'aaaaaahhh,' and I said, 'oh, you must be my niece,' she's making faces at me," Somers-Jones said.
She said her sister was so good with her children and called them the perfect family. She describes Maiysha as a talented fiber artist, a "color sorceress," who made her own intricate yarns, handbags and jewelry. Somers-Jones said she recently inherited a sewing machine from her great grandmother and has tried to emulate her sister.
"I started making some little things, and every time I make something I think, Maiysha would like that, I think she should like that," she said. "Is it as good as hers? Not quite. I don't know if I'll ever be able to make it as good as hers because she's really incredible."
Somers-Jones is an artist in her own right; a musician who sings and plays the flute. She is also no stranger to tragedy. She nearly lost her own life a year ago in a fatal car crash, and her sister and friends had hosted a benefit concert for her. Now, she's trying to do the same for her sister's common-law husband Jeremy Doe. He survived because he was not at home when the fire started.
"He lost everything," Somers-Jones said. "He's already an orphan and he lost the love of his life. His babies — let alone the house and his dogs — and all his stuff."
The benefit concert will be held Dec. 11 at the Union Street Brick Church in Bangor from 5 p.m. to midnight. There will be a donation bucket at the front of the church for those to give what they can. There will also be items up for silent auction. There's also a GoFundMe page set up.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but authorities have said there appeared to be no working smoke detectors in the home.