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3 children killed in Minneapolis fire identified; gathering planned

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The three children killed in a Minneapolis house fire over the weekend have been identified.

Taneisha Stewart's three children –Latorious, 6; Latora, 5; and Latorianna, who was almost 2 – died in the fire that started just before midnight Saturday, a family member told the Star Tribune.

"I loved my children. I'd do anything in the world for my children. I should be the one who's dead, not them. That's how much I love my children," Stewart, who was at home at the time of the fire and wasn't injured, told to KARE 11.

The family moved into the home on Saturday and they had yet to furnish it, FOX 9 reports.

A vigil was held in honor of the children Sunday night, and a gathering is planned for 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Holsey Memorial Christian Methodist Church in Minneapolis, according to posts on the Taking Back the Northside Facebook page. The church is also seeking donations for the children's funerals.

Oven may have caused fire

Fire officials are looking into whether the oven caused the fire, KSTP says. The family had reportedly been using the oven to heat their home because natural gas service hadn't been activated yet.

This has officials reminding people not to use appliances to heat their homes, noting the state has heating assistance programs to help those struggling to pay heating costs.

Not only can appliances cause a fire, they could also lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

Fires are most common in Minnesota during the winter, peaking in January, according to state Department of Public Safety, which has tips to prevent fires during the cold winter months.

The DPS has been publishing other fire-prevention tips in honor of National Fire Prevention Week, which began Oct. 4.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s website shows 33 people have died in fires from January through August of this year.

There were 41 fire fatalities last year, compared to 44 in 2013 and 50 in 2012, the Department of Public Safety notes.

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