Legacy of metro boy killed in tragic accident lives on at Charlie’s House

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- An enduring legacy is rising from heart-wrenching tragedy.

A metro family spent Wednesday breaking ground on a one-of-a-kind home where metro parents will learn more about safety around their residences and ways to keep their kids safe.

The house is believed to be the first of its kind, and it's being built in memory of a special young man. In 2007, two-year-old Charlie Horn was killed in his own home when a heavy dresser fell over on him.

Charlie Horn

On Wednesday, his parents and siblings were on hand, as ground was broken for Charlie's House. It's a special training home where families from the metro can learn about residential safety around their domiciles, including everything from furniture straps and smoke alarms to ways to be safe on the backyard swing sets.

Onlookers cheered with delight as shovels scooped the first pieces of ground on Wednesday afternoon. As the tools turned, hope came to life that Charlie's memory would serve to keep other kids safe.

"There's tears of joy and tears of excitement that we're able to do this for, not only our family, but for our community. Charlie's House will be a one-of-a-kind, and it will help keep kids safe in and around the home," said Jenny Horn, Charlie's mother.

Jenny and Brett Horn are parents to three other children, all of whom attended and took part in Wednesday's tearful ceremony.

 

The site for Charlie's House is at 24th and Campbell near Hospital Hill. Leaders from Safe Kids Johnson County were also participants in Wednesday's gathering, and according to Katie Schatte, the nonprofit's coordinator, leaders are hopeful to see the public partake in life lessons Charlie's House will offer.

"We hope physicians and doctors offices and health departments and urgent care centers will send their families who've had an injury and they can learn about safeguarding their home so nothing will happen again," Schatte told FOX4.

Charlie's House organizers say they expect to open their doors in 2019, since this training center is said to be the only one of its kind in the United States and will take about a year to build.