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Six siblings died in a South Bend house fire, causing grief in the community



South Bend, Indiana – On Monday, when they gathered for the funeral of six siblings who died in a house fire, residents of a village in northern Indiana wept and looked for answers.

The Smith siblings, who were 11 years old, 10 years old, 9 years old, 5 years old, 4 years old, D’Angelo, and 17 months old Faith, perished on January 21 when their South Bend home caught fire. The funeral was conducted at the Century Center convention area, with six flower arrangements and six pictures of the children along the stage.

“We all want answers,” Mayor James Mueller said during the service. “It’s hard to even fathom how this could happen. Why could this happen? How could this be prevented so it could never happen again?” Mueller asked.

“There’s never going to be an answer that’s adequate when you lose children, to have their lives cut far, far too short,” the mayor said.

The twins were reportedly trapped by flames on the second floor of their South Bend, Michigan, house. South Bend is a city of over 100,000 people that is situated just south of the Michigan state line. Their father made it through the fire. He reported to the firefighters that strong winds and thick smoke drove him back as he attempted to save the kids.

The investigation into the fire’s cause is still ongoing.

Leader of the community Lynn Coleman discussed the effects the “Smith6” have had on their neighborhood since their passing.

“They’ve brought people together across this community — Black, white, Hispanic, Asian, young, old, rich, poor,” Coleman said at the funeral. “They’ve connected people that would’ve never talked with each other. They’ve caused people to come together to say, ‘What can I do to help?’”