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Family of mother, 3 children killed in house fire thanks Springfield community for condolences

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 12:20 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The family of a mother and three children killed in a house fire thanked the Springfield community for its heartfelt condolences.

Marlena Young, 40, Nevaeh, 13, Rayden, 11 and Samantha, 6, died following the fire on the morning of July 23 at their home on South Lone Pine. Young’s husband, the children’s father, survived the fire. Firefighters arrived to a fire in the home around 6:30 a.m.

Marlena’s brother and sister-in-law shared pictures and released a statement to KY3 News.

“The entire Rivera family in Colorado and West Virginia want to send our love and support to the Springfield community and want to thank them for their support and heartfelt condolences during this difficult time and to all the wonderful people that have reached to us directly we thank you! and we want thank local fire fighters and Emts for all they did and their heroic efforts. We loved Marlena and her children Neveah, Rayden and little Samantha very much and we will miss them immensely.”

The three children attended Pershing School, a few blocks from the home. School leaders say they have communicated with school staff and parents about the tragedy, offering resources and support.

Elizabeth Williams lives in the same neighborhood. Her son and niece went to nearby Pershing School with the children, and recognized the house last Friday. She says the kids would walk to school together.

“They were affected by it,” says Williams. “It’s really hard for them to like wake up one day, and just you know, and have that happen.”

It’s a tragic reminder of the danger of a house fire.

“Saturday, we went and got all new smoke detectors in our house, you know, because we have four children that live in our home,” says Williams. “And it’s an older home in the same neighborhood. So we want to make sure our smoke detectors are working. And I hope everyone else is doing that as well.”

“I just really feel bad for the family and I’m praying for them,” Williams said.

Investigators say they are investigating what caused the fire and can’t yet release any details.

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