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Funeral held for children killed in SW Phila. fire

Four young children killed in a fire on Gesner Street in Southwest Philadelphia last month were laid to rest Saturday.
Four young children killed in a fire on Gesner Street in Southwest Philadelphia last month were laid to rest Saturday.

Raw emotions filled the steps of Divine Mercy Parish as family members clutched each other watching the four small caskets leave the church.

Emotions turned to wails as the tiniest victim left, cradled in the arms of family.

1-month-old Taj Jacque, his brother 4-year-old Patrick Sanyeah along with 4-year-old twins Marie and Maria Boawah, all died in a fast moving house fire early Saturday, July 5th in the 6500 block of Gesner Street.



"It's difficult to say something about a child that spent such precious little time on earth," said Josephine Larmina, aunt of the brothers.

Inside the church, members of the tight-knit Liberian community listened to the Larmina speak about protective little Patrick.

"He told his mother, 'Mommy, Taj was the best birthday present and I'll be a good big brother,'" she said.

Family members also spoke about the twins' big aspirations.

"They told their mothers they wanted to be doctors to help people," said one relative.

Following the funeral, the children were buried at St. Peter and Paul Cemetery in Springfield, Delaware County.



On Friday, Philadelphia's Chief Fire Marshal released a report stating that the damage to the 13 homes involved in the blaze was so extensive that officials couldn't determine a cause.

There has been a spectrum of emotions since the fire. Officials had to squash allegations against them that they didn't have a quick enough response time.

At the funeral, the focus remained on the children, but the twins' father questioned the results of the investigation.

"I want the government to investigate what happened and how it happened," said Pennoh Davis.

Officials say the investigation could be reopened if more evidence is presented.
Related Topics:
news fire house fire children deadly fire philly news Southwest Philadelphia
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