An East St.Louis mother laid her five children to rest, ranging in ages 2 to 9 years old, this past Saturday after they tragically lost their lives in an apartment fire on August 6th, which falls on her birthday. The incident occured just hours before a friend was set to arrive at her home with balloons for a party. According to WJBF, Sabrina Dunigan went to pick up her boyfriend from work, and when she returned home, she was met with flames. At the time, the children were in their grandparent’s care, but to escape flames, they jumped from the second-floor balcony and could not grab the children due to the fire already being so bad.
Greg Dunigan, Sabrina’s father, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he and his wife, Vanicia Mosley, could not assist since she is blind. However, when Sabrina arrived at her home, she tried to retrieve her children from the apartment but was unsuccessful. Reports state that it is unclear if the building had operating smoke detectors. The East St. Louis community has stepped up to provide the Dunigan family with support as the funeral was very emotional.
The celebration of life was held at Greater St. Marks Church of God and Christ, where the community and family gathered for the homegoing for Deontay Davis, Jr., 9, twins Heaven and Nevaeh, 8 Jabari Johnson, 4, and Loyal Dunigan, 2. The children were buried in custom caskets where the exterior represented each child individually. Pastor Mark Ratliff, Sr. who attended the service, said, “East St. Louis has always been a one that will come together in a time of tragedy and uh I’m not surprised I’m just so thankful during a pandemic season we come together and support one another.”
The fire is currently under investigation by the Illinois State Fire Marshal and the Illinois State Police Department. Roommates, let’s keep this family and community in our prayers.
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