After cruelly losing their lives in an apartment fire on August 6th, which also happened to be her birthday, an East St. Louis woman buried her five children, ranging in age from 2 to 9, to rest this past Saturday. The incident happened just hours before a friend was supposed to arrive with balloons for a party at her house. Sabrina Dunigan went to pick up her partner from work, and when she got home, she was greeted by flames, according to WJBF.
The children were being cared for by their grandparents at the time, but in order to escape the flames, they leaped from the second-floor balcony, where they were unable to reach the children owing to the severity of the fire. Sabrina’s father, Greg Dunigan, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he and his wife, Vanicia Mosley, were unable to help since she is blind. When Sabrina arrived at her house, she attempted but failed to collect her children from the flat. According to reports, it’s unclear whether the building had working smoke detectors.
Because the Dunigan family’s funeral was so emotional, the East St. Louis neighborhood has rallied to help them. Deontay Davis, Jr., 9, twins Heaven and Nevaeh, 8, Jabari Johnson, 4, and Loyal Dunigan, 2, were laid to rest at Greater St. Marks Church of God and Christ, where the community and family gathered for the homegoing of Deontay Davis, Jr., 9, twins Heaven and Nevaeh, 8, Jabari Johnson, 4, and Loyal Dunigan, 2. The children were buried in handcrafted caskets with each child’s face painted on the outside. Pastor Mark Ratliff, Sr., who was present at the event, expressed his gratitude by saying,“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.