KALAMAZOO, Mich. – It was a fire that tragically took the lives of three siblings and destroyed four townhouses at the Interfaith Homes housing complex in Kalamazoo.
It happened back in February. Three-year-old twins Taniyah and Tevin Williams along with their one year old sister Tyonna Henderson died in the fire.
Thursday, December 12th, a memorial was unveiled paying tribute to the three young lives lost that day.
Nearly one year after the fire took those lives, the fire department was once again parked outside the townhouses. This time they were here along side the family of the victims, members of the community and first responders to commemorate the lives lost on February 18, 2013.
The names of the three victims were etched in stone outside the community center at the Interfaith Homes.
When the memorial was unveiled there were a few tears shed. According to investigators the three children, along with another sibling a 4-year-old who was able to escape, were left unsupervised when the fire broke out.
Police interviewed the surviving child who said one of the children put something in the oven which caught fire and spread.
Both the mother and former boyfriend were held liable for the deaths in a civil trial, but earlier in December the former boyfriend, 19-year-old Fred Glespie was found not guilty by a jury.
One of the people on hand for the unveiling was a great-grandmother of one of the victims. Jacqueline Fullerton said this ceremony goes a long way in the healing process while also serving as a reminder of how tragedy can quickly strike.
“It’s an awesome gesture to do,” she said of the ceremony. “So that others can see that the fire department did the best that they could do and the police officers tried to help and the community just got together to bring hope and just come together in prayer and unity.”
First responders also took a moment to stand silently by the memorial, touched as well by the loss of life that took place back on a cold February day.