Sabrina Dunigan’s five young siblings were laid to rest two weeks after being killed by a fire in the East St. Louis home they shared with their mother and grandparents.
The children were buried in custom caskets on Saturday, two weeks after their deaths, the St. Louis Dispatch reported. All five of the small caskets featured a picture of the child, their name and decorations that fit their personalities.
“These children were wonderful children. If you look at the caskets, each casket reflects their personal desires, the games they played with, the toys they liked, (and) the colors they were interested in. If you look at the casket, it’s really a glimpse of their young lives,” Serenity Memorial Chapel Funeral Director Walter Terry told Fox 2 Now.
All of the siblings were under the age of 10 when they passed. The youngest daughter, Loy-el Dunigan, was only two years old. Twin girls Heaven and Neveah were eight years old. Brothers Deontae Davis and Jabari Johnson were aged 9 and 4, respectively. They died on their mother’s 34th birthday.
As previously reported, the children were in their family’s apartment when a fire broke out on August 6. Their mother, Sabrina Dunigan, was away from home at the time because she was picking another adult up from work. Dunigan’s father and his blind wife, who were staying in a back room, escaped by jumping from the second story.
Dunigan eventually returned to the apartment and rushed in to save her kids, but she couldn’t reach them. She also sustained burns on her arms and feet. The family had only been in the apartment for five months and lost their previous home to a fire.
The coroner determined the children died of smoke inhalation, but the manner of death, homicide or accident, is unknown.
The cause of the latest fire has not been determined, and the incident is being investigated.