All-day wake being held for 5 children killed in New Jersey fire

UNION CITY, New Jersey (WABC) -- An all-day wake is underway for the victims killed in the devastating New Jersey fire that ravaged a family and a community.

The service for 2-year-old Jason Gonzalez, 4-year-old Shamire Lopez, 7-year-old Christian Mendez, 13-year-old Jose Tejada and 5-year-old Mayli Wood, who are all related, began at noon Tuesday and will continue overnight.

A funeral Mass will then be held Wednesday at 10 a.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Church.
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Candace McCowan reports from Union City, NJ.

They were all killed in the fire that broke out 11 days ago at a building on 25th Street in Union City. The children were all on the third floor of that building and were unable to escape.

Hundreds of people came to the church Tuesday to pay their respects and offer support to the grieving family. Gov. Phil Murphy and Union City Mayor Brian Stack were among the mourners.

Since the fire, the owner of the building has been hit with $60,000 in fines due to a slew of fire code violations that include an apparent illegal apartment where the fire started, no working smoke detectors and a fire escape blocked by an air conditioner.

Hudson County Prosecutors are still determining whether they will pursue criminal charges.

The Red Cross is providing temporary assistance to the fire victims, and Mayor Stack's office is collecting donations in the form of a check or through a GoFundMe account.
If you would like to help, checks can be made payable to the Union City Fire Victims' Fund and may be sent to:

Union City Fire Victims' Fund
City of Union City
Office of Mayor Brian P. Stack
3715 Palisade Avenue
3rd Floor
Union City, New Jersey 07087

Or CLICK HERE to donate on GoFundMe.

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