Fire victim’s family travels to Buffalo hopeful to bring his remains home

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Rosa Montanez Navarro’s plane touched down in Buffalo Saturday afternoon, arriving from Puerto Rico. She’s making the trip just one month after her last visit; the last time she saw her brother, Juan Alberto.

“I was the last one to see him living,” said Rosa. “So it’s a lot to take in.”

Her brother, Juan Alberto Montanez Navarro, 49, died Friday in a fire on Humber Avenue. He lived upstairs in the house and when it went up in flames, Juan never made it out.

“It was just a devastating moment,” said Rosa, recalling hearing about her brother’s death. “I’m hurt. I’m really hurt.”

Rosa received the news from her uncle, who called to say there was a fire but Juan didn’t make it out. At the time of the call, Rosa was with her mother and she had to break the news.

“She started screaming and crying,” said Rosa. “Then I started screaming and crying.”

Rosa made plans immediately to come to the U.S., determined to bring her brother’s remains back to San Lorenzo, where he grew up and where Rosa and her parents still live. Three of Juan’s children also live there as well as his other siblings.

“My greatest desire, all I’m asking is that they help to bring the body back of my brother,” said Rosa.

It will cost nearly $8,000 to do that – which is more money than the Montanez Navarro family has. Here in Buffalo, the Prince of Peace Christian Church is looking to help. They’re opening their doors, located at 190 Albany Street in Buffalo, Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., to accept donations for Montanez Navarro’s family.


If you have any questions about donating or how to help the Montanez Navarro family, you can call The Prince of Peace Christian Church at (716)844-8717. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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