IRVINGTON, NJ(CBSNewYork) — Six members of a family killed in a Newark fire were laid to rest on Saturday.
As CBS 2’s Diane Macedo reported, six coffins were carried one by one out of the Solid Rock Baptist Church in Newark.
The funeral perhaps provided some closure, but also new pain for relatives.
“It hurts. There’s no other way,” said Cheryl Sydney. “You feel like something has been taken out of your chest.”
All six victims had been sleeping inside the home on Madison Avenue and South 15th Street when the fire broke out.
The cause of the blaze remains under investigation, but officials said the flames were fueled by plastic flowers which lined the home’s exterior.
“It’s nothing you would ever, could ever imagine,” said Sydney.
Reginald and Salome Stewart lived in the home along with Mrs. Stewart’s daughter, Natasha Kinsale. Her other daughter, Michele Johnson and her 15-year-old grandson Stephon Sydney were visiting from Georgia at the time. The youngest victim was 11-year-old Zion Forbes, another grandson who was also staying the night.
“I mean, these are all young people, vibrant in the peak of their lives,” Sydney said. “And for this to happen, I mean, it’s just unbelievable.”
The medical examiner ruled all of the deaths accidental after determining they had died of smoke and carbon monoxide inhalation. It appears at least some of the family had tried to escape the fire.
“I pray for the family that they would be able to heal and move forward. It’s tragic,” said Tyrome Barnes.
“You have to I guess rest and know that your family member now is in a better place,” said Sydney.
Investigators said there were no working smoke detectors in the home. They also warned that flowers can in fact be a fire hazard.
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