Funeral for five Des Plaines fire victims to be at Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe
A funeral for the Des Plaines mother and her four young daughters who were killed in a Jan. 27 fire will be held Wednesday at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the Maryville campus, with local businesses covering the costs of the services.
The parents and a sister of the mother, Nancy Cithlaly Zamudio, are coming from Mexico to take part in the service, said Graham Hills, funeral director at G.L. Hills Funeral Home in Des Plaines.
The funeral home is donating all its services and the caskets for Zamudio and her children Grace Espinosa, 1, Allizon Espinosa, 3, Genesis Espinosa, 5, and Renata Espinosa, 6.
Hills said he sat down with the family after getting a call from them.
"Right away I told them we would take care of everything, no charge," he said. "I just couldn't put it in my mind to ask them for anything."
Hills also reached out to others to help. Catholic Charities is donating five burial plots at All Saints Cemetery, across the road from Maryville, where the burial will be held. Pesche's Flowers and North Suburban Flower Company in Des Plaines are donating flowers. Northlake Funeral Home and Dreschler Brown and Williams in Oak Park are providing extra hearses and funeral directors.
A funeral Mass open to the public will be at 10 a.m. in the church at the shrine, 1170 N. River Road. The first 250 people to arrive will be allowed inside. Services will be broadcast on the shrine's website and on YouTube, Hills said.
The fatal fire began about 10 a.m. in the stairway outside the apartment where the family lived, blocking their escape, officials believe. The husband was at work at the time, they said.
An electric space heater is a focal point of an ongoing investigation by the Des Plaines Fire Department, the Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office and a regional task force.
The two-story house 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 have said. At that time, it met all inspection requirements.