Family says 11-year-old died trying to save his little brother i - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Family says 11-year-old died trying to save his little brother in Holualoa house fire

BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Investigators are still trying to determine what caused a house fire that killed two young boys on Hawai'i Island Thursday.

Family members say firefighters told them they found 11-year-old Dexen Matsuyama holding his 6-year-old brother Kaeden -- as if he was trying to protect him from the flames.

"I'm just really happy that they were together and not separate and that they had each other in the end," said Rebecca Kauwe, the boys' aunt.

Kauwe says it's a miracle her brother and his wife were able to escape with their two daughter -- who are 3 and 16 -- but neither they nor firefighters could get to the two boys once the walls and ceiling of the home began caving in.

"I would like them to be remembered for their love of life, their excitement in learning new things, their kind heart, their giving soul, and their beautiful smile. When you see that smile you just can't help no matter how bad your day is it just made you warm inside," Kauwe said.

Family members say the Matsuyama's lost everything in the blaze. A GoFundMe account has been established in the boys' name and nearly $28,000 had been raised in less than 24 hours.

The Matsuyama's are currently staying with a friend, but family members tell Hawaii News Now the outpouring of support from the community has been overwhelming -- on Friday, a stranger offered them a house to live in for free until they can get back on their feet.

The family held a private service Friday afternoon, but funeral arrangements have not been finalized.

For more information on the GoFundMe account, click HERE

Related Link:

Police identify 2 children killed in Big Island house fire

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