Funeral arrangements announced for 4 Queens fire victims; Investigation continues

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Funeral arrangements announced for 4 Queens fire victims
Kemberly Richardson has the latest details.

QUEENS VILLAGE, Queens (WABC) -- Funeral arrangements have been announced for four of the five victims who died in the devastating fire in Queens over the weekend.

Two-year-old Chayse Lipford, 10-year-old Rayshawn Matthews, 16-year-old Jada Foxworth and 20-year-old Destiny Dones -- all members of the same extended family -- will be laid to rest as part of one service.

They will be mourned at a wake and funeral Saturday May 6 at New Greater Bethel Ministries on Jamaica Avenue. Services for the family friend, 17-year-old Melody Edwards, have not been released.

Dajuana Green lost her son Rayshawn, her grandson Chayse and two cousins who she considered daughters. She returned to her home Tuesday, leaving flowers and balloons by the burned-out shell and telling Eyewitness News she is a deeply religious woman and is relying on her faith to help her through these horrific times.

"Please take care of your kids," she said. "Make sure your house has smoke alarms, make sure they're working. That's what I was going to do. I was going to get smoke alarms, because my smoke alarms stopped working. So I was going to get brand new ones and bring them back and put them up when I come in from work. I just want everyone to make sure they take care of their kids and make sure all their smoke alarms are working. Even the carbon monoxide."

A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help raise money for the families.

Investigators continue to probe the cause of the Queens Village fire, sifting through charred wreckage in an effort to determine what sparked the fast-moving house blaze. Fire marshals determined that there were no working smoke detectors in the home.

They say that the cause is not considered suspicious, and it is believed to have started on the first floor of 112-16 208th Street. It spread to an adjacent home that was damaged, but no one was home at the time.

The fire claimed the lives of the five victims, while a sixth person, identified by relatives as 46-year-old Maurice Matthews, was able to escape out a second-floor window and was taken to New York Hospital Center of Queens in satisfactory condition. He is reportedly Rayshawn's father and Chayse's grandfather.

Relate: Relatives scream for loved ones after deadly Queens Village fire

The fire was the deadliest in the city since March 2015, when a house fire in Brooklyn killed seven children, all siblings. That fire was touched off by a hot plate.