'They were awesome kids:' Uncle remembers 5 girls lost in Butte fire
The uncle of five young girls who died in a fire in the Butte Thursday says he wants the community to know they were loved, and their parents were good people.
"Everyone needs to know, my brother and sister-in-law were good parents, and they were awesome kids. They were awesome kids because of their parents," said Armando Astorga. His brother, Jimmy Flores, is the girls' father.
Astorga says the family didn't feel safe in their mobile home and had planned to move out next week.
Without those five young girls, Astorga says this world will never be the same.
"The girls were always together, that's why it's not a surprise to anybody they left together. They were always together, always, " Astorga said.
3 year-old Jaelynn, 6 year-old Sofia, 7 year-old Lillyanna, 8 year-old Nevaeh, and 12 year-old Alexis died in the fire. Flores was at work, Astorga says, and their mother, Janelle Quakenbush, left Aexis in charge, as she ran to drop off their grandmother. Minutes later, Astorga says, she came back to find flames.
"When you're good people you don't deserve that. My brother is a good man, my sister-in-law is an amazing woman and those kids were beautiful," Astorga said. "The only thing we're praying is they left peacefully, that they didn't feel anything. The only thing that we do know is they were all in their beds when it happened. And when we went to the house you could see where they were laying."
Now the family is hanging on to what's left.
"For the people that know them, they know what this world lost," Astorga said. "You lose five kids and tell me what the next move is, you know?"
Astorga says the family's next move will probably be back to their home state of California. He says they are waiting for the results of the fire investigation and want to take the girls' remains home.