The Illinois fire marshal's office said Tuesday it has yet to determine the cause of the mobile home fire that killed five people south of Sherrard on March 27.
"We don't have anything new yet; the investigation is still open," said Milly Santiago, spokeswoman for the fire marshal's office in Springfield.
Ms. Santiago, who called the fire "a tragedy," said investigators from her officer are working with local officials to determine the exact nature of the blaze.
In the meantime, police have formally identified those who died in the fire and funeral arrangements are being made.
The Mercer County sheriff's office said Tuesday that DNA analysis by the Illinois State Police Crime Lab in Morton, confirmed the earlier identification of the the victims as Anna M. Viager, 38; her daughter, Breanna M. Viager, 8; Cassaundra 'Cassi' N. Turner, 15; Holli R. Harker, 13; and Jessica E. Harker, 11, all of rural Sherrard. The latter three were family friends on a sleepover.
The blaze started around 1 a.m. and tore through the 1,440-square-foot double-wide mobile home at 1385 300th St., leaving only metal and other bits of rubble at the scene. Anna's husband, Wayne Viager, and two sons, Dekotah and Allen, escaped. They received medical attention and are staying with relatives, sources say.
A visitation for the Harker sisters will be 2-8 p.m. Thursday, and the funeral service will be 10 a.m. Friday, both at Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home,201 E. 4th Ave., Milan.
A visitation for Cassi Turner is scheduled 2-8 p.m. Monday atKirk, Huggins & Esterdahl Funeral Home, 1301 4th St., Orion. The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. April 9 at Cable Community Church, 1498 303rd St.
A visitation for Anna and Breanna Viager is planned 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 11 at the Cable Community Church, with their funerals to follow at 2 p.m. Dennison Funeral Home in Viola is handling the arrangements.
Fundraisers for fire victims
A number of efforts to provide assistance to the families of the victims are under way.
-- Viager/Harker/Turner Funds: Donations at the 1st Community Bank, Sherrard
-- Spaghetti Supper Fundraiser for Harker Family: 4-8 p.m. Sunday Bethel Wesley United Church, 1201 13th St., Moline Hosted by Spellious Tae Kwon Do (Moline), of Chung Kim's Black Belt Academy (Bettendorf)
-- T-Shirt sales by Foxtail Vinyl Design & Screen Printing: $10, with proceeds going to victims' families Call 309-277-8444 or e-mail email@example.com
-- Trailblazer 4H Club Vendor Fair: 5:30-8 p.m. April 19 Preemption Methodist Church Hot dogs, tacos and drinks, silent auction and community bake sale with all proceeds going to families For questions or to donate conrtact Kathy Jahn at firstname.lastname@example.org or (309) 372-8226
-- Household/pet supplies donation drop-off: Yerkey Veterinary Service, 1802 17th Ave., Viola Donations may include dishes, towels, toiletries, non-perishable food items and dog and cat food/supplies
Today is Thursday, April 17, the 107th day of 2014. There are 258 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Journeymen shoemakers of Rock Island struck for higher wages yesterday morning, asking 25 percent increases. Employers have acceded to their demand. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Lighting struck wires of the Merchants Electric Light Co. during a furious storm, and many Rock Island business houses were compelled to resort to gas as a means of illumination. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Members of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, decided to erect a new edifice at a cost of about $60,000. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Willard Anderson, junior forward for the Augustana College basketball team, which won 17 out of 22 contests, was elected captain of the quintet. 1964 -- 50 years ago: John Hoffman, Moline, president of the Sac-Fox Council of Boy Scouts, will be honored for his 50 years in scouting by members of the council at a dinner Thursday evening. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The Quad-Cities has what is believed to be the area's first elite-class gymnast. It's the stuff upon which Olympic competitors are made. Tiffany Chapman, of Rock Island, not only has earned the highest possible gymnast ranking, she won the honor at age 11.