Posts Tagged fatal fire in East St Louis

Fatal fire in East St Louis, 8-6-21

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Five children died in a fire Friday morning in an apartment building in East St. Louis, Illinois. The fire started after the mother of the five children went to pick up another adult from work.

When she returned home, she tried to get the children out herself, but was unsuccessful. Four children were pronounced dead at the scene. The fifth child died on the way to the hospital.

The fire started at about 3:45 a.m. It is unclear if the building had working smoke alarms. The Illinois State Fire Marshal and the Illinois State Police Department are investigating the fire.

The children have been identified as Deontay Davis, Jr., 9, twins Heaven and Nevaeh, 8, Jabari Johnson, 4, and Loyal Dunigan, 2.

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Three perish in East St Louis House fire, 1-3-16

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Two adults and a small child died in a house fire Sunday in the 2000 block of North 43rd Street.

Six people were inside the one story frame home at 2016 N. 23rd St. Three made it out alive, but three people — a 27-year-old pregnant mother, a 4-year-old boy and a 32-year-old male — were trapped inside and died.

East St. Louis Fire Chief James Blackmon identified the dead as: Kendra Williams, 4-year-old Jayden Harris, and Chantez Reynolds.

Corey Burries, who owned the home, said she, three adults and two children were inside.

“I was asleep. My grandson was screaming fire. I opened my bedroom door. The smoke overwhelmed me. I let up my window and threw him out. I started to climb out of the window. I was calling my daughter and her fiance, telling them to come to the fire escape, which is outside of my bedroom window. They never came,” Burries said through tears. She said they were in a back bedroom.

One family member had to be restrained by other family members as he tried to get to the burning house. Several family members said neighbors tried to get in to help, but were overcome by the thick smoke that was raging inside of the burning structure.

East St. Louis Assistant Fire Chief Todd Hill said the call came in to the fire department at 1:42 p.m. Sunday reporting people trapped inside.

“When we arrived, about five minutes after the call came in, we learned that a couple of people had gotten out,” Hll said. “The house was a big ball of fire when the crew from Engine House 422 arrived on scene. They immediately looked for a point of entry and tried to knock the fire down. There was a lot of fire.”

Hill, who has been fighting fires for 25 years, said he has seen some pretty bad ones and this was among them. He praised the work of the six-member crew. “Whenever there are people trapped inside, the guys do everything they can to get everyone out alive. They did a tremendous job. Unfortunately, though, three people did not make it out.”

He said the bodies were inside of the house in a bedroom. Hill said he didn’t know where the fire started or what may have caused it. A member of the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s office was on scene.

Kendra Williams was her sister. She was five months pregnant, Janice Williams and other family members said. Chantez Reynolds was Kendra William’s fiancee. Like her mom, Williams said she woke up to her son screaming “fire.” Williams said the smoke was so intense that she nor her mother knew where her sister was.

She said her son was really smart and was very good with computers and telephone technology.

The family didn’t have any insurance. Family members said they are homeless now and will need some place to live. They will also need help paying for the funerals.

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