Saturday evening, the community, family and friends gathered in front of the home of the four children that died from smoke inhalation to pay tribute.
Pastor James Watson of Apostolic Highway to Heaven Church officiated the service. “We thank God for all of you coming down and we want you to keep this family in prayer,” he said. “I’ve already paid for the funeral. Let’s come together as a community and help her [the mother] get what she needs.”
Pastor Willie Johnson read a scripture from St Matthew, 19th Chapter. He began, “We that have kids, let’s go home and buy some smoke detectors. Some things we can do for ourselves. It’s like riding down the street without your seatbelts. When an accident happens, it’s too late.” Reading from the 19th Chapter of St. Matthews he began, ‘And Jesus said, suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me, for such is the kingdom of heaven. And He laid HIS hands on them and departed thence.’ “Children belong to Him, even in death. Children belong to God and God only has the say so. And so I want to say to the family, be encouraged.” Pastor Johnson said.
A poem was then read in honor of the children by a relative. “Let’s pray for everyone that’s been involved,” Said Pastor Watson. “The fireman and rescuers are hurt. There are a lot of people hurt.” He said.
Thursday morning at 5:30 a fire broke out at the home located at 2503 N Baylen. According to Curtisa Johnson, their mother, they had been having trouble with the hot water heater the day prior. “She called me and said that she was afraid to go to sleep,” said her sister Sherell Williams. That morning a fire started and the call went out in the neighborhood “All grown folks get up! A house is on fire! shouted a neighbor. As neighbors and friends came out, the fire had already started to spread. Inside, 11 year old Michael tried to keep his siblings as safe as possible.
“I was at the front door and I could hear Bo calling me “Ma, where are you” and I said “I’m here” but I could not get in to them. “
Two of the neighbors tried to crawl around inside but the smoke was too thick and the flames had started to spread. “We called out to him 3 times and he answered twice,” recalled a neighbor. “I could hear the baby crying.” But I just couldn’t find them, I just couldn’t find them.” He said.
Service will be held at 11am at the First Baptist Church of Warrington on Saturday, February 25th.