Monday, October 20, 2014

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Funerals Held for Young Victims of Queens Fire

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TWC News: Funerals Held for Young Victims of Queens Fire
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Two young children killed in a fire in the Rockaways were laid to rest Monday,
and some at the funerals questioned whether the children would have survived if EMS had been dispatched sooner. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.

Loved ones said goodbye to Aniya Tinglin Monday. Earlier in the day, family and friends held the funeral for Aniya's half-brother, Jai'Launi.

"Obviously, today's a very, very sad day for all of us," said the Rev. Les Mullings of the Far Rockaway Community Church of the Nazarine.

Both children were four years old. Their father and mothers were overcome with grief.

"They're devastated, and imagining that there's really no real consoling them," said Darren Ferguson of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church.

"We're here to pay our last respect to the little souls who's passed tragically," Mullings said.

Aniya and Jai'Launi died in a fire in a home on Bay 30th Street on Saturday, April 19.

Witnesses heard, and one of them recorded, firefighters complaining about how long it took EMS to respond.

A city investigation revealed a seven-minute delay in the EMS dispatch. A supervisor and three fire alarm dispatchers have been suspended without pay for a month.

"We know that there has to be greater accountability," said Rep. Gregory Meeks of Queens. "We know that there has to be situations where no child should be, no person should lose their life because of the lack of response from our emergency folks."

Political and community leaders helped support the family on this day, joining with clergy, hoping something positive comes from something seemingly so senseless.

"We're going to make sure that whatever we can do, whether it's legislative or whatever, we will put our feet in action to ensure that this kind of tragedy doesn't happen again," Mullings said. "It's appalling."

Some elected leaders have called on requiring dispatch to send EMS on initial fire calls.

The investigation into the dispatch delay continues.

As for the cause of the fire, investigators have determined that one of the children was playing with a lighter.

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