RICHMOND, Va. -- A close-knit family is planning three funerals after a mother and her two children died from their injuries suffered in a Richmond house fire over the weekend.
Richmond firefighters raced to extinguish flames from a burning home on Banton Street on the city's Southside around 7 a.m. Sunday.
Inside was a family of six including 22-year-old Jasmine Allen and her children, four-year-old Kadene Allen and 9-month-old Jadae Copeland.
“She was a new mom, but she loved her kids. She was about family, a devoted mother. She loved them babies,” said Jasmine’s cousin, Jerrica Finney.
Firefighters pulled the two children from the second floor of the burning home and immediately performed CPR, according to a Richmond Fire spokesperson. Sadly, the mother and her children died at the hospital.
“When she was in the room, she made everybody smile. She was a joy to be around. She was so kind, so kind, I know all of her friends are probably devastated as much as we are,” London Finney described of her cousin following her death.
Jasmine’s brother, Jamel, and his friend continue to recover at VCU Medical Center after running into the burning home to try and save the children.
"We heard he ran right in there and faced the fire. His face is burned, and he has severe burns on his body. But he didn’t care, and he wanted to make sure he could get to those babies," Finney explained. "I think it’s important everyone to pray for him as well because he’s a hero."
A Richmond firefighter suffered burns to his hand during the rescue but is expected to be okay.
Richmond fire leaders already sounded the alarm about the increase in fire fatalities earlier this year. They said a common theme in most incidents is there were no working smoke detectors.
That was also the case on Banton Street.
The children's grandfather was not injured. The cause of the fire remains under investigation but is believed to have started on the second floor.
The family has created a GoFundMe to help them with the unexpected funeral costs.