MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Mourners packed a high school gym in Memphis to remember a mother and six children who perished in a house fire in a low-income, inner-city neighborhood. A funeral service was held for the victims Saturday at Melrose High, and the school auditorium with 1,400 seats was packed to overflowing.
Seven white caskets and pictures of the victims were set up at the front of the room. But the caskets were empty since the medical examiner has not yet released the bodies for burial. The examiner's office says it is awaiting results on DNA tests to identify some of the victims, all of whom died from smoke inhalation and burns.
Family members have identified the dead as 38-year-old Melissa Poole, four of her children and a niece and nephew. They died last Saturday.