GREENSBORO, N.C. (WNCN/WFMY) - Hundreds gathered Saturday to celebrate the lives of five young children killed in a Greensboro apartment fire earlier this month.
Five tiny coffins lined the first of Mount Zion Baptist Church Saturday morning for the service.
Investigators say the deadly fire started early May 12 when food was left cooking unattended on the stove.
The oldest boy and girl both attended Rankin Elementary School. Rankin Elementary staffers are working on a plan to help the family.
The mother of the family was working when the fire broke out. The father was at home and managed to get out of the apartment with minor injuries.
The family fled the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2016.
"You escape life in Africa, which is very hard. And you come here to make the American dream," said Jean Bosco, an interpreter who works with the family. "And then life is cut short by this."
Firefighters said the children included two girls and three boys.
The children who died are Hope Roy, 8, Lisa Josiane, 7, Christopher Danny, 5, Joshua John, 3, and Trump Emmanuel-Kamali, 1.
An uncle to the children lives in the same apartment complex.
"Only God knows when the problems come. There's no way you can stop them," said Ananiya Bizimana, the children's Uncle.
Family members like Bizimana are relying on their faith.
"We are praying so that God can help us," Bizimana said.