Maryland

‘Left here a hero': Family mourns father who died in Largo fire

NBC Universal, Inc.

The daughters of a man killed in a fire early Tuesday believe their father died saving the life of a child.

Amid the sounds of Fourth of July fireworks and the smell of cookouts, Andra King’s family could only imagine the togetherness they would’ve had with their father Thursday.

“He texted me the other day and asked me how to make a group chat so he could talk to everybody and do it,” said his daughter Adreyona King.

Andra King, 40, died in a fire that raged through a Largo, Maryland, apartment building. The father of six was among two adults killed in the blaze. A third victim – a young boy – was hospitalized in critical condition,

Adreyona King and her sister Tatiyona are still coming to terms with the loss.

“It was very shocking, because he was very energetic and fast, so this day, it was, it was unbelievable, ‘cause we know there was no way he would’ve been stuck in there,” Adreyona said.

In the days since the tragedy, they’ve learned more about what happened, and the new information reinforced something they knew about their father.

Local

Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information

Parents weigh in on Virginia's proposed school cellphone ban

How a $78 bill dispute led to a lien on a house

“I called the fireman, and he said that he was in there holding the little boy that survived, so, he saved him,” Adreyona said said.

“It let us know that he was willing to put himself at risk to save another person so that he could be able to live,” Tatiyona said.

His family says Andra King happily spread himself thin to make the most of time spent among his six children.

“He loved every single one of his kids and he wanted to spend a lot of time with us and just wanted to just have fun all the time and just make the best of every situation,” Tatiyona said.

That love is conveyed through memories of a quick smile, a sense of humor and a love for music.

“Loved Bob Marley,” Adreyona said.

“Oh my gosh,” Tatiyona said. “Everybody used to say he looked just like him, and he was proud of that.”

“He thought he was,” Adreyona said.

Those are the things the sisters will tell their younger siblings – ages 3, 7, 9 and 14 – as they help them through the tragedy while managing their own grief.

“It’s so unexpected, and we’re trying,” Adreyona said. “It’s hard. I’m the oldest, and I’m only 19.”

Other relatives have died in seemingly quick succession, including Andra King’s parents.

“He’s with grandma,” Adreyona said.

The sisters say planning another funeral will be a struggle.

“He left here a hero, and we want him to be put to rest with honor,” Tatiyona said.

Contact Us