Jan 18, 2022 - News

Funeral for Fairmount fire victims draws hundreds of mourners

The Reverend Dr. Alyn Waller, at podium, speaks during funeral services for the victims of a deadly row house fire, at Temple University in Philadelphia, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. Photo:  Matt Rourke/AP
Rev. Alyn Waller speaks Monday during funeral services at Temple University in Philadelphia, honoring the victims of a deadly row house fire on Jan. 5, 2022. Photo: Matt Rourke/AP

Hundreds of people gathered Monday to mourn the nine children and three adults who died in a row house fire in the Fairmount neighborhood earlier this month.

Driving the news: Relatives shared memories at the three-hour funeral at Temple University's Liacouras Center, which was open to the public. Guests were asked to wear white.

  • White and gold coffins lined the front of the room, covered in flowers.
  • After the service, Philadelphia police escorted hearses to Chelten Hills Cemetery for a private burial.
Mourners embrace during funeral services for the victims of a deadly row house fire, at Temple University in Philadelphia, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Mourners embrace at funeral services for the victims of a deadly Philadelphia row house fire. Photo: Matt Rourke/AP

Catch up fast: Investigators shared preliminary findings last week following interviews with a 5-year-old who survived. Officials have said a Christmas tree was likely ignited by a lighter.

  • One other family member survived.

The victims include:

  • Rosalee Nicole McDonald, 33.
  • Virginia Thomas, 30.
  • Quinsha White, 18.
  • Quintien Tate-McDonald, 16.
  • Destiny McDonald, 15.
  • DeKwan Robinson, 8.
  • J'Kwan Robinson, 5.
  • Taniesha Robinson, 3.
  • Tiffany Robinson, 2.
  • Shaniece Wayne, 10.
  • Natasha Wayne, 7.
  • Janiyah Roberts, 4.

What they're saying: Senior pastor Rev. Alyn Waller called on the community Monday to support the family.

  • "We come to celebrate that even amidst tragedy, our city will still live."

Dominique Cook, a family member of the victims, spoke about each of her loved ones.

  • "Time, you never really know how much it means until it's gone. To my younger cousins, it wasn't enough time for us. It wasn't even enough time for you to show the world what you truly could be."
Mourners arrive to pay their respects for the victims of a deadly row house fire during funeral services at Temple University in Philadelphia, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Mourners arrive to pay their respects to the victims of a deadly row house fire during funeral services at Temple University Monday. Photo: Matt Rourke/AP

Zoom out: Days after the tragedy in Philadelphia, an apartment building fire in New York City left 17 dead.

avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Philadelphia.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Philadelphia stories

No stories could be found

Philadelphiapostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Philadelphia.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more