Sioux Falls, SD
As friends, family and complete strangers come to honor the lives of David and Rhiannon White's three children, the couple says the last week has been a blur, a nightmare they can't wake up from.
"For me, it's an empty feeling," David said.
"No noise, no joy in the morning to wake up to. No laughter to wake up to in the morning," Rhiannon said.
On Monday, they will bury their children after they died in a house fire on 1100 North Main Avenue. 16-year-old Michael Hensley is described as a good kid, and stood up for what he believed in. 12-year-old Savannah Coon was a volunteer who would do anything for anyone. And 6-year-old Alivia Coon was known as the baby, who liked to snuggle and was looking forward to christmas.
Looking back on the December 22nd fire, David says he woke up to the fire alarm beeping.
He tried to go to the children but was overcome by thick smoke. The couple had to jump out the window. Rhiannon remembers the last time she saw Savannah.
"I could hear her banging on the window, yelling 'Mama'. Dave was yelling, break the window," Rhiannon said.
The couple believes Michael went to help save his sisters in their room, which was why all three were found together. They assume the fire started because of an electrical problem in the living room downstairs, but are anxious for the investigation results. Right now, the structure is too unsafe for investigators to get inside.
"You're from a family of five to a family of two and you don't have no answers, no reasoning why," David said.
"And you watch as they pull you away from a house that's on fire and you don't hear your babies in there no more," Rhiannon said.