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Mom of 5 children killed in Buffalo fire speaks about loss

Kenise Robinson finds strength in knowing that one of her six children survived a fire on New Year's Eve.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Four girls and one boy died in a Buffalo house fire on New Year's Eve and now their mother is grieving, but finding joy in that some of their organs saved five lives.

Kenise Robinson is a mother of six. Her children were in the care of grandparents Clarence and Lisa Liggans. It was inside their Dartmouth Avenue home where a fire started.

Aniyah Green, 10, Joelle Liggans, 8, Jalissa Liggans, 7, Denise Keith, 4, and Nehemiah Robinson, 2 died. Lisa Liggans remains in ICU. 

"It's so hard to talk about them," said their mother Kenise, a Washington, D.C. native who has lived in Buffalo for eight years.

She opened up about why the kids were not in her care for the last seven months.

"I was in a domestic violence relationship and I had to leave my house," she said. She felt comfortable with the children being together in the temporary custody of her grandparents.

She got a call on the morning of December 31 from Children's Hospital. When she arrived she said, "Caseworkers came downstairs and told me that Aniyah, Joelle, and Jalissa were gone and that Nehemiah and Denise were on life support."

She recalled someone from ConnectLife approached her about organ donation. Robinson thought it was the right thing to do.

The strength, she said comes from knowing her infant daughter Ziya is still alive.

The eight-month-old suffered minor smoke inhalation.

Robinson hopes to regain custody of her daughter after a court hearing in May.

Services for the children will be held on Friday, January 27, 2023, at 10 a.m. at Elim Christian Fellowship, 70 Chalmers Avenue. Funeral Services to follow at 11 a.m. Interment Forest Lawn Cemetery.

There is a gofundme for the mom as she cares for the needs of the funeral and the future care of her infant daughter.

Click on the tweet below to hear Robinson talk about her children's personalities.


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