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Continued: Community remembers five children killed in north Minneapolis fire

  • Article by: KELLY SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 1, 2014 - 10:02 PM

“It’s not over, I can assure you that,” he said.

Aid for the family

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, school Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson and Fire Chief John Fruetel attended the funeral as did several faith leaders, the children’s Bethune Elementary teachers, friends and family from around the country.

“Minneapolis has never had anything like this,” Bishop Richard Howell said in an interview afterward, saying it was the greatest tragedy for the North Side since the deadly 2011 tornado. “It’s shocking to the community.”

The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers is raising money for the family (tinyurl.com/LewisFund) as are local churches, which expect to present them with cash next Sunday.

The emotional, nearly two-hour funeral ended with family members hugging and holding each other up as they embraced the five white caskets one last time. Each casket was topped with bouquets of red roses and covered with mementos — handwritten notes from young classmates, Christopher’s certificate for perfect school attendance, photos of the children’s smiling faces.

A drum line played as the caskets were wheeled out. The colorful mesh butterfly wings were left behind, stuck together in a fusion of yellows, green, pink and purple.

Kelly Smith • 612-673-4141

Twitter: @kellystrib











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    Saturday March 1, 2014

    Funeral services were held at Shiloh Temple Church in north Minneapolis

  • Funerals for the five Lewis siblings killed in the Valentine's Day duplex fire in North Minneapolis. The funeral was held at the Shiloh Temple Church, at 1201 W. Broadway.

  • Funerals for the five Lewis siblings killed in the Valentine's Day duplex fire in North Minneapolis. The funeral was held at the Shiloh Temple Church, at 1201 W. Broadway.

  • “I was sending my children home, to their mother, to a better place,” said Troy Lewis, the children’s father. The funeral for the five siblings was held Saturday at the Shiloh Temple Church.

  • Teachers and friends comforted each other as they filed past the caskets before the funeral. The funeral was nearly two hours long and ended with family hugging and holding each other up while embracing the caskets.

  • Leanin gon the casket of 18-month-old Gwendolyn Lewis were pictures and butterfly wings ] (KYNDELL HARKNESS/STAR TRIBUNE) kyndell.harkness@startribune.com During the funeral for the five Lewis children who died in a fire on Valentine's Day at Shiloh Temple Church in Minneapolis Saturday, March 1 2014.

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