Massive Fire Rips Through SW Philly Homes, Killing 4 Children

Funeral Set for 4 Children Killed in Massive Gesner Street Blaze

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The date has been set for the 4 young children who lost their lives in a massive house fire earlier this month. (Published Thursday, Jul 24, 2014)

    The four children killed in the massive Gesner Street fire earlier this month will soon be laid to rest.

    The funeral for 4-year-old twins Maria and Marialla Bowah and brothers 4-year-old Patrick Sanyeah and 7-week-old Taj Jacque will take place August 16, Able Dennis, a Bowah family member, tells NBC10.com.

    Child, Infant Caskets Prepared for Gesner Street Burials

    [PHI] Child, Infant Caskets Prepared for Gesner Street Burials
    The grief in one Philadelphia neighborhood brings out the compassion in others as community volunteers and a funeral director help plan for the burials of three children and one infant killed earlier this month in a multi-home fire in Southwest Philadelphia. (Published Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014)

    The two families have decided to hold one funeral for all four children. It will take place at Divine Mercy Church, 7200 Grovers Avenue, and is open to the public. 

    The children were killed in the early morning hours of July 5. Dewen "Marie" Bowah was home with her five children and babysitting the two boys when a fire broke out about 2:30 a.m. Bowah was able to help her three oldest children escape through a second floor window, which she also used to get out of the house alive. She was not able to reach the youngest kids who were sleeping in a separate room where they perished.

    Numerous in-kind funeral donations have poured in to cover the funeral costs. Patricia Quinn of Final Farewell has lead the effort. Antoine Turay of Turay Memorial Funeral Chapel estimates the discounted cost for funeral services and burials is $10,000.

    "It’s very sad, but I’m glad to know that I can at least help out and ease their financial burden so they can get on with their life as best they can. Pretty much all the funeral expenses have been covered," said Quinn of Guckin Funeral Mansion. 

    As for why the funeral date took so long to be finalized, Turay said in West African cultures it is not uncommon for a funeral to take place 30 days after a death.


    Contact Sarah Glover at 610-668-5580, sarah.glover@nbcuni.com or follow @skyphoto on Twitter.