NATIONAL NEWS

Funeral services held for 12 killed in Philadelphia fire

Jan 17, 2022, 1:43 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 3:41 pm

Emergency vehicles are pictured near the scene of the fatal fire in the Fairmount neighborhood on J...

Emergency vehicles are pictured near the scene of the fatal fire in the Fairmount neighborhood on January 5, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A fire killed 12 people, including nine children, in a Philadelphia rowhouse on Wednesday morning, officials said. (Photo by Hannah Beier/Getty Images)

(Photo by Hannah Beier/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Funeral services were held Monday for nine children and three adults who died in a Philadelphia fire five days into the new year, the deadliest blaze in the city in more than a century.

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

Those in attendance at the three-hour service listened to Bible readings, official proclamations and music. Relatives spoke about their loss and their memories of their loved ones from two microphones behind tables bearing caskets amid white flowers and large pictures of the victims.

“None of us know what to do with a funeral with 12 people,” said the Reverend Dr. Alyn Waller of the Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church. “We’re in a space of grief and pain we wish on no one else.”

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

“I believe they’re with their dad. I believe they’re with my mother. I believe they’re with my father, their uncles and aunts,” she said. “The hurt is deep but it will subside.”

The victims of the Jan. 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, which is the city’s public housing agency and the state’s biggest landlord.

Three sisters — Rosalee McDonald, Virginia Thomas and Quinsha White — and nine of their children died in the blaze, according to family members. The city last week identified the other victims as Quintien Tate-McDonald, Destiny McDonald, Dekwan Robinson, J’Kwon Robinson, Taniesha Robinson, Tiffany Robinson, Shaniece Wayne, Natasha Wayne and Janiyah Roberts. Officials did not provide their ages.

Investigators last week confirmed that it started at a Christmas tree but stopped short of officially saying that it was sparked by a child playing with a lighter.

The blaze had been the deadliest fire in years at a U.S. residential building but was surpassed days later by a fire in a high-rise in New York City’s Bronx borough that killed 17 people, including several children.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

Tim Hernandez hugs Kallie Leyba as former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords, second from right, hugs Anne...

Colleen Slevin, The Associated Press

12 students and teacher killed in Columbine school shooting remembered at 25th anniversary vigil

A girl who wrote to God in her diaries, a boy with learning disabilities who was just learning to like who he was and a teen who would spend every free minute fishing were among the 13 victims of the Columbine High School shooting remembered during a vigil Friday on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the shooting that was the worst the nation had seen at the time.

3 hours ago

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 23: A young fan displays her ticket for Taylor Swift's first Sydney co...

Anita Snow, Associated Press

Record Store Day celebrates indie retail music sellers as they ride vinyl’s popularity wave

Special LP releases, live performances and at least one giant block party are scheduled around the U.S. Saturday as hundreds of shops celebrate Record Store Day during a surge of interest in vinyl during a surge of interest in vinyl and the day after the release of Taylor Swift's latest album.

4 hours ago

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks at the US Capitol earlier this year. (Craig Hudson/REUT...

Ted Barrett, Morgan Rimmer and Clare Foran, CNN

Senate passes surveillance bill despite contentious debate over privacy concerns

The Senate voted late Friday to reauthorize a key surveillance authority, avoiding a lapse in the controversial program.

5 hours ago

This photo from the US Navy shows the USS Higgins in Yokosuka, Japan, in November 2022. (Mass Commu...

Shania Shelton, CNN

US sailor found guilty at court martial on attempted espionage charges

A US sailor who served in Japan was found guilty on Friday at a general court martial for attempted espionage, failure to obey a lawful order and attempted violation of a lawful general order.

7 hours ago

Workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee are in the process of voting this week on...

Chris Isidore, CNN

Volkswagen workers are voting on whether to join the UAW. The results could be felt nationwide

The union vote at the Volkswagen plant will mean more than whether the 4,300 hourly workers in Chattanooga are members of the UAW or not. It could be the start of a revolution in the US auto industry, which has not seen a new automaker unionize in nearly 50 years.

21 hours ago

IN SPACE - In this handout provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Earth as ...

Associated Press

Earth Day: How a senator’s idea more than 50 years ago got people fighting for their planet

Millions of people around the world will pause on Monday, at least for a moment, to mark Earth Day. It's an annual event founded by people who hoped to stir activism to clean up and preserve a planet that is now home to some 8 billion humans and assorted trillions of other organisms.

23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Funeral services held for 12 killed in Philadelphia fire