Couple rebuilding family after losing 7 kids in fire, welcomes child No. 13

Published: Sunday, March 20, 2016 @ 11:44 AM
Updated: Sunday, March 20, 2016 @ 3:41 PM

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A Pennsylvania couple was devastated when seven of their eight children were killed in a fire five years ago

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Janelle and Ted Clouse lost Christina, 11, Isabelle, 9, Brady, 7, Hannah, 6, Heidi 4, Miranda, 18 months and Samantha, 9 months, on March 8, 2011. Their daughter Leah survived; she was 3.

Since then, the Clouses have welcomed four more children, and Janelle Clouse is pregnant with another.

"Time heals our pain, but we always remember, and we would never want to forget our babies," Janelle told People magazine. "All we can do is just keep looking forward. All we have is the future."

The family keeps a collage of photos of the seven children who died propped up on a fireplace mantel. Janelle and Ted said seeing the faces of their lost children reminds them that "every single moment" is precious and that nothing should be taken for granted.

"You have to move ahead, if you live in the past you're not really living," Ted told People. "But they will be with us, always."

The fire that killed the Clouses' children blazed in the family's farmhouse while Ted was out working and Janelle was tending to cows in a barn 100ft away from the family's home. While Janelle was milking the cows, Leah ran into the barn and told her mother that her baby sister, Miranda, was "playing with smoke."

"I went to the house and opened the door and the smoke knocked me down," Janelle said. "I knew if the fire was that strong, there was no one alive in my house."

The seven children died from a mix of carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation.

Fire officials think 18-month-old Miranda was probably holding a blanket too close to the space heater in the kitchen. They think she dragged the burning blanket into the living room, where it ignited couch cushions and spread.

Four months after the fire, Janelle gave birth to Gabriel.

"I was happy, but I had this terrible sense of guilt because it seemed like he replaced my dead children," Janelle said. "It was a bittersweet moment. Time healed that pain, though. I realized that he was an innocent baby that needed love."

She later gave birth to Yvonne, 3, Gordon, 2, and Jedidiah, 11 months. She's expected to give birth to another son in April.

But the Clouses will never forget the children they lost five years ago. Their new additions are just that -- additions, not replacements.

"We have 13 children," Ted said. "When people ask how many kids we have, we say 13."

"We talk about them all the time," Janelle said. "When the time is right, when the kids are a little older, we will tell them about the brave siblings they never go to meet." 

Janelle and Ted Clouse have learned to "live but never forget" about the tragic accident.

Posted by People on Friday, March 18, 2016

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YouTube accused of illegally collecting children's data

Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 @ 1:51 AM

YouTube Fast Facts

A new complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission accuses video-sharing site YouTube of illegally collecting children's data.

>> Here's how to download a copy of the data Facebook keeps on you

According to the Guardian, nearly two dozen advocacy groups, including the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for Digital Democracy, are arguing that YouTube's parent company, Google, violates the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act by collecting data on and targeting advertising toward children without obtaining parental consent beforehand.

>> Facebook alerts users if their data was compromised by Cambridge Analytica

The complaint, filed Monday, also alleges that Google knows that children use YouTube, even though YouTube asks that children under 13 not use the site.

"Despite the presence of literally millions of child-directed videos, and despite promising advertisers access to kids via YouTube ads, Google pretends that they aren’t responsible for the children on YouTube," the CCFC said on its website. "Google knows kids are there, and they are not taking steps to protect their privacy. So we are."

>> Cambridge Analytica: What you need to know about the firm, Facebook and your information

YouTube released the following statement in response to the complaint:

"We are reviewing the complaint and will evaluate if there are things we can do to improve. Protecting kids and families has always been a top priority for us. Because YouTube is not for children, we’ve invested significantly in the creation of the YouTube Kids app to offer an alternative specifically designed for children."

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According to The Associated Press, YouTube Kids "offers more parental controls but is not as widely used" as the main YouTube site.

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Bakery saves the day for nonverbal boy after iPad stolen: 'It's the only way he can communicate'

Published: Monday, March 26, 2018 @ 8:15 AM

Photo via
Photo via

A Massachusetts bakery is helping a boy with special needs communicate again after his trusty iPad was stolen.

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Three-year-old Hunter Jerrier has Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, and because he's nonverbal, he uses his iPad to speak.

Hunter's father, Brian Jerrier, says the gateway to understanding his son's wants and needs is his iPad, which is loaded with special programs to help out his little one.

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However, on Saturday, during a trip to White's Bakery in Brockton, Hunter's method of communication was stripped from him when someone stole his gadget.

His parents said someone took it from a counter just minutes after they accidentally left it there.

"As a grown, 40-year-old man it made me cry. It was my fault because I put it down. I felt like I let him down because it's the only way he can communicate with us," Brian said.

The Jerriers thought it was a lost cause until they received a phone call less than 24 hours after the theft from a manager at the bakery.

The manager offered to replace the iPad and followed through with his word.

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"There are still good people out there that, in a really crummy situation, made it easier for him, easier for us and did it so quickly," said Amanda Jerrier, Hunter's mom.

Now, the Jerriers said the last way to right this wrong is for the thief to come forward.

"I would like to know how it would feel if you were unable to speak in any type of way," Brian said.


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Man disciplines son by making him run to school in rain

Published: Tuesday, March 06, 2018 @ 9:44 AM

WATCH: Man Disciplines Son, Makes Him Run to School in Rain

After his son was kicked off the school bus for three days for bullying, a father in Virginia came up with an alternative way for him to get to school.

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As punishment, Bryan Thornhill made his son run to school. In a Facebook video posted on Thursday, Thornhill streams his son running with his backpack on in the rain, with Thornhill riding in a car behind him. In the Facebook video, Thornhill explained why he chose this form of punishment and gave "tough love" parenting advice to others. (Note: The video contains language that some may find objectionable.)

The video has generated millions of views and has sparked a mix of praise and criticism.

Thornhill said in the video that his son's behavior has improved since the punishment.


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Big brother comforts sick baby sister in heartwarming viral video

Published: Tuesday, January 09, 2018 @ 6:43 AM

Children holding hands. (Photo credit: Karolina Michalak/
Karolina Michalak/
Children holding hands. (Photo credit: Karolina Michalak/ Michalak/

A video of a boy comforting his baby sister is warming hearts across the country.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

A video shared to Facebook by mom Danielle Davis of Haughton, Louisiana, shows her son quietly rocking his sleeping sister in his arms when she wasn’t feeling well. The video was viewed more than 2 million times on Instagram.

>> On HotTopics.TV: Baby girl cries tears of joy when she hears her mom’s voice for the first time

“The kids adore each other,” Davis told “Good Morning America.” “He can always make her laugh. They are siblings, so they have their moments of jealousy, but that’s to be had. Ninety percent of the time they really very loving toward each other.”

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Check out the adorable clip below as 5-year-old John comforts 1-year-old Clara.

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