Funeral Held For Children Killed In Englewood Fire

Updated 04/16/11 – 4:09 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Funeral services were held Saturday for three children who were killed in a fire last week in the Englewood neighborhood.

Stacey Austin Jr., 10, Joseph Austin, 4, and Dashiyah Austin, 2, died on April 7, after a fire broke out on the first and second floors of their home at 6758 S. Emerald Av.

Family, friends and neighbors gathered for their funeral Saturday morning at Alpha Temple Baptist Church, 6701 S. Emerald Av. Visitation was held there earlier in the day.

“It’s a tragedy. We’re all trying to pull together and get past this,” their father Stacey Austin said. “May God truly bless everyone that truly helped my family. I really appreciate it.”

The fire not only left the Austin’s heartbroken, but homeless and penniless. Calahan Funeral Home assisted the family with the funeral costs.

“Calahan Funeral Home is in this community. We are located not very far from where this tragedy took place and so therefore, as a result of being in the community, we step forward when this tragedy happened,” owner Edward Calahan said.

The cemetery also helped the family with the burial costs, along with DCR management. That company gave a significant contribution to help the Austins give their children a final resting place.

The three children died from smoke inhalation in a fire at their home early April 7. The fire started around 2:15 a.m. when one of the children was playing with a lighter in bed. The flames spread quickly in the bunk bed and the parents tried dousing the fire with pots and pans filled with water, but the fire quickly grew out of control.

“I tried to put the fire out. I realized it wasn’t going to go out,” father Stacey Austin said last week. “So I’m like, let’s get the kids out of here, and I thought I had all my children out, but I didn’t.”

Dashiyah was found dead on the first floor and was pronounced dead at the scene. Stacey Jr. and Joseph were taken to the hospital where they later died, officials said.

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