Home-going Celebration for 5 Children Victims of Duplex Fire

Updated: 03/01/2014 6:16 PM KSTP.com By: Brandi Powell

People across the Twin Cities are remembering the victims of a Valentine's Day tragedy.

The funeral for the five kids who died in a Minneapolis duplex fire took place at Shiloh Temple Church on Saturday afternoon.

Troy Lewis, 60, says he woke up to smoke, climbed out of the window of his duplex on the 2800 block of North Colfax Avenue, and then went back into the residence looking for his seven children.

Eight-year-old Christopher, 6-year-old Mary, 3-year-old Troy, 4-year-old Fanny, and 18-month-old Gwendolyn didn't survive.

Losing the Lewis children is a big loss for the entire community. In a Home-going Celebration, family and friends honored the brave children who died after a space heater started a fire in their duplex.

Family and friends described Mary, Fannie, Christopher, Troy and Gwendolyn as angels, who are returning home.

Christopher's friend, Aniya Herrod, attended the service.

"He liked to go read with the reading teacher." Herrod said. "[Christopher] liked comic books [and] he liked to eat chips and salsa."

Heidi Van Amburg, a Pre-K tutor, described Mary as energetic and upbeat.

"She worked really hard," Van Amburg said. "She really tried to learn everything she could possibly learn." Van Amburg said, "[Mary] always had a bright smile on and lit up the day."