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Parents as Protectors of Children's Lives

June 25, 1989

In following the coverage of the tragic fire at the day-care center in Huntington Beach, I am dismayed that there is no mention whatsoever of any sympathy for Pat Orozco.

If the background you printed was accurate, it sounds like she was a very conscientious person, doing a good job of caring for children for many years. She was following instructions--she got a fire extinguisher when she was told to get either that or a smoke alarm.

It sounds like she made heroic efforts to rescue the children. Others tried and were unable to do it. She was not only burned in the fire, she will be emotionally scarred for life. The memory of this will be hell to live with.

What is left of her home? Is she covered by fire insurance? If not, how will she rebuild? She made her living caring for children. Will she be able to do this again? Will the stigma of this tragedy prevent parents from ever leaving children in her care?

I do not mean to belittle the devastating tragedy that has occurred for the families of the children. I simply think we should be recognizing the heartbreak for Pat Orozco.

PHYLLIS KILLINGSWORTH

Anaheim

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