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RICHMOND, Mo. — A memorial is growing for three people who died in a house fire Tuesday morning in Richmond, Missouri.

Marcus Forson and his 12-year-old son, Maddox, were inside, along with Forson’s girlfriend, Charley Merriman.

“It’s really unreal honestly,” Charley’s son Jonathan said. “I saw her the night before, and she stopped and gave me and my brother clothes, and I told her, ‘I love you, Mom.’”

The families are crushed by this news.

“He would describe Maddox as his rock,” Tina Andrews, Marcus’ niece, said.

Maddox loved football and wrestling, which he recently won first place in several tournaments.

“He just lit up a room all the time,” Andrews said. “He was just a big gentle giant, gentle teddy bear.”

Investigators haven’t officially ruled what caused the fire, but the Missouri Fire Marshal’s Office said it started in an enclosed porch at the back of the house.

There was a generator being used to run space heaters and a propane heater.

“I know that Marcus loved Maddox to death,” Jonathan said. “He never wanted to let him go. He always wanted his son by his side. And I know that Maddox was going to be in the NFL one day or NBA, one of the two.”

A GoFundMe page has been established to help the family with funeral expenses. As of Thursday morning, more than $15,000 had been raised.