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Funerals For 4 Children, Grandmother Killed In South Plainfield Fire

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - Funeral services are being held for the four children and their grandmother who were all killed in a fire at their home in South Plainfield.

1010 WINS' Glenn Schuck reports


One by one, five hearses pulled up to First Park Baptist Church in Plainfield Friday morning.

Christopher Jefferson, 5, Tyler Davis, 7, Alize Jefferson, 12, Elijah Taylor, 2, and their grandmother, 62-year-old Ann Jefferson, all died in the Feb. 23 blaze.

"Anytime you lose anyone, you don't have enough time to say I love you," said Elijah's uncle Murray Brewster. "You don't have enough time to hug him."

All of them died of smoke inhalation. Four others were treated for injuries and one remains hospitalized.

Officials have said the fire started in the kitchen, but its exact cause is still under investigation. South Plainfield's mayor said smoke alarms were not working in the home at the time.

Meanwhile, police say a dentist who treated three of the children who were killed is facing fraud charges for allegedly giving them bogus dental records.

Parish Patel faces falsifying dental records and obstruction charges for allegedly turning over fake dental records for three of the kids. He is also accused of insurance fraud for allegedly submitting at least five claims totaling more than $1,000.

Patel, 46, was charged after investigators tried to identify the children. Investigators say records Patel provided reflected certain dental work that had never been done. Investigators say the bogus records delayed the identification of the children.

Donations are also being collected for the survivors of the blaze at the South Plainfield Senior Center. Clothing in all sizes is needed for the surviving children and their mother.

So far, South Plainfield has raised nearly $25,000 to help the family.

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