Fire victims home from hospital

A Merlin-area man and a boy injured in separate home fires in November are out of the hospital.

Matt Myers, 30, came home last week, and Nathaniel Byrns, 7, came home this week, both from Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland.

Myers was critically injured in a Nov. 9 fire that killed his son, 8-year-old Wessley. Byrns was injured in a Nov. 26 fire that killed his uncle, Walter L. "Lee" Jacobson, 52.

Both Myers and Byrns were treated at Emanuel Hospital's burn unit, and members of each family came to know one another there.

Nathaniel's family did not return calls for comment for this report, but a family friend, Connie Hall, said Nathaniel already was visiting with friends, including Hall's son, Tyler.

"He looks so good," Hall said Tuesday. "He was playing with Tyler. He's got a little limp, but what a miracle." Nathaniel was standing behind his uncle when the man tried to ignite firewood with fuel, causing an explosion and fire in the Jacobson home on Sallsten Road, according to fire investigators.

Myers was injured while trying to save his son during a nighttime fire possibly caused by woodstove ashes left in a plastic waste can near a porch at the Myers home on Laubach Lane.

"Matt's doing good," Kelly Myers said Tuesday. "His fingers are numb. He's going to be fine. His lungs will take awhile.

"His face is completely normal. He's healthy. We're going to move on."

Christmas, she said, "was really hard." The family is staying with Matt Myers' parents in the Merlin area.

Kelly Myers thanked the community for donations — "enough to start a whole house." "Just the whole community coming together," she said. "We're so thankful for living in Grants Pass. I don't know how to put it into words."

Reach Grants Pass Daily Courier reporter Shaun Hall at 541-474-3813 or e-mail

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