Hundreds mourn children killed in Minneapolis house fire


Several hundred people attended a Saturday afternoon funeral in north Minneapolis to remember the five siblings killed in a house fire on Feb. 14, WCCO reports.

The children -- 18-month-old Gwendolyn, 3-year-old Troy, 4-year-old Fannie, 6-year-old Mary and 8-year-old Christopher -- all died when a fire broke out in their Colfax Avenue duplex. Their father, Troy Lewis, 60, saved two other children who are still in the hospital.

Five small white caskets were lined up in the front of Shiloh Temple church, the Star Tribune reports, as family, friends and local officials paid their respects and comforted Lewis.

Among the mourners were Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, Minneapolis School Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson, Fire Chief John Fruetel, faith leaders and teachers from Bethune Elementary School, which the older children attended.

“There are no words to describe how we feel right now,” said Lewis’ sister, Debra Lewis of Chicago. “ … How hard it is for my brother to have his five beautiful angels in front of him,” according to the newspaper.

“Minneapolis has never had anything like this,” Bishop Richard Howell said in an interview with the Star Tribune. “It was a shock to the community and a lot of people wanted to give their respects.”

Investigators still have not determined the cause of the fire, but suspect a space heater that had been on for several days might have started it. Lewis told officials he was using the space heater and the oven to keep the house warm because the heat wasn't working properly.

Lewis's two surviving daughters, Shaca, 9, and Electra, 5, remain hospitalized but their father said Saturday they are improving.

Next Up

mickey moore driver's license shared

Beleaguered Ward 9 city council candidate loses Strib endorsement

Mickey Moore has faced questions in recent days about where he actually lives.

CDC biohazard scientist health work

New clue may explain how rare tropical disease sickened Minnesotan

The disease, known as melioidosis, killed 2 people earlier this year.

Sen Mark Koran crop

MN lawmaker encourages donations for locals charged in Jan. 6 insurrection

"They are a good family!" Sen. Mark Koran wrote Friday.


Money Gal Coaching: Mastering the spiritual parts of money

Kelly Blodgett used her passion behind becoming debt free to launch Money Gal Coaching.

University of minnesota sign

U of M will now require proof that employees have been vaccinated for COVID

Previously, only students were required to be vaccinated.

Jim Hagedorn

Report reveals details about ethics investigation into Rep. Hagedorn

The congressman described the report's findings as "unfounded conclusions."


SkyWest cancels hundreds of flights due to server error

More than 80 have been canceled at MSP Airport.


First elk in more than 100 years spotted in parts of southern WI

The elk population was reintroduced to Wisconsin in recent decades.

grand marais

10 beautiful Minnesota cities to visit for outdoor adventures

These places are perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway.


Varying causes of death for children killed in Minneapolis duplex fire

The five children killed in a north Minneapolis duplex fire have been identified, and their causes of death determined.