Metro-East News

Family of victims killed in East St. Louis fire seeks support

Fatal House Fire Sunday In East St Louis

Fatal House Fire Sunday In East St Louis
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Fatal House Fire Sunday In East St Louis

While family members continue to plan funerals for two of the three victims in the house fire that occurred Sunday afternoon in the 2000 block of North 43rd Street, they are reaching out to the community for support.

A bank account in the name of Corey Burries has been set up at First Community Credit Union to help pay for funeral expenses for Kendra Williams and Jayden Harris.

Corey Burries’ family is holding a candlelight vigil at 4 p.m. Wednesday at 2015 N. 43rd St, the site of the fire, to remember the three victims: Williams, Harris and Chantez Reynolds.

Burries, who owned the home, survived the fire. Williams was her daughter and Harris her grandson. Reynolds was engaged to Williams. Another of Burries’ daughters and a grandson also made it out of the house.

While the family grieves their loss and tries to pick up their lives, they want the community to come together to remember them. They were trapped inside of the burning structure by the intense fire and smoke throughout the house.

East St. Louis Fire Chief Jason Blackmon said East St. Louis firefighters and the Illinois State Fire Marshal jointly conducted an investigation. No results are available yet.

Blackmon said he believes there were smoke detectors in the residence.

“Some of the guys said they heard beeping when they drove up,” he said.

At the scene Sunday, Assistant Fire Chief Todd Hill said Williams and Reynolds were in a back bedroom. Harris, a 4-year-old boy, was in the front area of the house.

It took firefighters an hour to get the fire out. The house is a total loss. The family did not have any insurance.

Carolyn P. Smith: 618-239-2503

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