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'He saved lives that night': Family remembers 4 children who died in a house fire in Somers

Somers Fire Department personnel investigate a home on Quality Ave. on January 03, 2024, where four children were killed and several other people were taken to the hospital after a fire during the night engulfed the two-family structure. At least one person jumped from a window to escape, officials said, and Fire Chief John Roache said fire crews had a difficult time getting inside the home because a back entrance was blocked and flames prevented entry through the front door. The cause of the fire is under investigation and officials say they have no evidence the origin was criminal.
Mark Mirko
/
Connecticut Public
Somers Fire Department personnel investigate a home on Quality Ave. on January 03, 2024, where four children were killed and several other people were taken to the hospital after a fire during the night engulfed the two-family structure. At least one person jumped from a window to escape, officials said, and Fire Chief John Roache said fire crews had a difficult time getting inside the home because a back entrance was blocked and flames prevented entry through the front door. The cause of the fire is under investigation and officials say they have no evidence the origin was criminal.

Family members have released the names of the four children who died in a house fire last week in Somers.

Obituaries posted online have identified the children as Archer Koropatkin, Benjamin Koropatkin, Genevieve Koropatkin and Lukas Koropatkin.

Meanwhile, the Somers community gathered Monday night for a prayer service at Somers Congregational Church.

Calling hours are set for Thursday night. A private funeral and burial will be held at a later time.

Three of their siblings survived. The children lived with their mother, who was not home at the time; her 19-year-old daughter, who was watching over the other children, escaped by jumping out of a second-story window, officials have said.

The deaths were ruled accidental. The fire ripped through a duplex late in the evening on Jan. 2. The fire spread rapidly, cutting off the stairway, and trapping people on the second floor. Fire officials said last week that crews had a difficult time getting inside the home because a back entrance was blocked and flames prevented entry through the front door.

Five-year-old Archer is credited with notifying his siblings about the fire, the family said in his obituary posted online.

“He saved lives that night,” the family wrote.

Archer, or Archie, was described as a “daredevil,” who knew how to ride a dirt bike before he learned how to ride a bike.

Seven-year-old Benjamin was a “sweet and shy boy” who was creative and artistic. Family said he would make mosaics out of paper and loved drawing with crayons and playing with Legos.

Nine-year-old Genevieve, or Gen, was outgoing, clever and “a girly girl who loved anything sparkly, pink, and purple.” She enjoyed wearing jewelry and high heels.

Lukas, 11, enjoyed fishing, playing basketball, Legos and Pokémon. He loved YouTube and wanted to be a YouTuber.

How to help

Somers town officials are directing people to mail in checks to The Angel Fund, Town of Somers, 619 Main St., Somers, CT 06071

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