Funerals for Des Plaines fire victims will be private

Funerals for a woman and four children killed in a Des Plaines fire this week will be private, and details of the arrangements won't be released to the public, officials announced Friday.

No public vigils or memorials are planned, either, Des Plaines spokeswoman Jennie Vana said.

"The family has asked for privacy regarding the funeral arrangements. Therefore, as this family grieves from this tragic loss, we request that the media and the public respect their privacy," Vana said.

The investigation into the Wednesday-morning fire that killed 6-year-old Renata P. Espinosa, 5-year-old Genesis A. Espinosa, 3-year-old Allizon V. Espinosa, 1-year-old Grace Espinosa and their mother, 25-year-old Cythaly Zamodio, continued Friday.

An electric space heater remains a focal point of the inquiry by the Des Plaines Fire Department, the Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office and a regional task force.

The fire erupted at the family's second-floor apartment on the 700 block of West Oakton Street.

Zamodio's husband was at work at the time, officials have said. He hasn't been identified by authorities.

A preliminary investigation revealed the fire began at the top of the stairs leading to the apartment, Des Plaines fire officials said. Those stairs were the only way in or out.

The two-story building where the family lived contained four apartments and is registered as a rental property with the city.

Des Plaines officials last inspected the property in 2018 pending a sale, officials said. At that time, it met all inspection requirements, including the required number of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, officials said.

But no smoke detectors were found on the second floor after the fire, officials said.

A Des Plaines police department social worker is assisting the victims' family with funeral arrangements, Vana said.

'A sad day for Des Plaines': Four children, one adult killed in fire

Space heater may have caused fire that killed 5, officials say

  Funerals for five people killed in a Des Plaines apartment fire this week will be private, officials said. Brian Hill/
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