Friday, May 20, 2022

Funeral service held for 12 killed in Philadelphia fire

Five days after the new year, nine children and three adults were cremated on Monday in a fire in Philadelphia, the city’s worst fire in more than a century.

A funeral procession on the city’s rain-soaked streets on Monday morning was followed by services at Temple University’s Liacorus Center, with community members invited and asked to wear white.

Attendees of the three-hour service listened to Bible readings, official announcements, and music. Relatives spoke of their loss and the memories of their loved ones from two microphones behind coffin tables amid white flowers and large photographs of victims.

“None of us know what to do with the funeral with 12 people,” said Reverend Dr. Elin Waller of Annon Tabernacle Baptist Church. “We’re in a place of grief and pain that we don’t wish on anyone else.”

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One speaker, an aunt of the children, said in tears that she believed there was “a family reunion in heaven”.

“I believe he is with his father. I believe he is with my mother. I believe he is with my father, his uncle and aunt,” she said. “The hurt is deep, but will subside.”

The victims of the January 5 fire were all on the third floor of a duplex north of the city center near the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The three-story brick duplex was owned by the Philadelphia Housing Authority, the city’s public housing agency and the state’s largest landowner.

According to family members, three sisters – Rosalie McDonald, Virginia Thomas and Quinsha White – and their nine children died in the fire. The city last week identified the other victims as Quintian Tate-McDonald, Destiny McDonald, Decwan Robinson, J’Kwon Robinson, Tanisha Robinson, Tiffany Robinson, Shanice Wayne, Natasha Wayne and Janiah Roberts. Officials did not reveal his age.

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Investigators confirmed last week that the fire started in the Christmas tree, but has officially stopped saying it was caused by a child playing with a lighter.

It was the deadliest fire at a residential building in the US in years, but a few days later a fire in a tall building in the Bronx borough of New York City killed 17 people, including several children.


This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
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