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Services set for victims of Riverhead house fire

One month after the fatal house fire in Riverhead, services are now set for the five victims.

Visitation for the five family members will be Friday, Dec. 17 from 5 to 9 p.m. at Tuthill-Mangano Funeral Home on East Main Street.

A Funeral Mass will be held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 18 at St. John the Evangelist R.C. Church., which is located at 546 Saint Johns Place in Riverhead.

The victims were Zonia Dinora Rivera Mendoza, 42, Andrea Isamar Gonzalez Rivera, 16, Carlos Cífelo Penate Rivera, who died one day after his 25th birthday; Carlos Alberto Ramos Aguirre, 25, and Duglas Edgardo Rivera Aguirre, 27.

Andrea and Carlos Cífelo were children of Ms. Rivera Mendoza. The other two victims were cousins of the children, who were all natives of Guatemala.

The fire started in the late evening on Nov. 16 in the century-old, three-story, multi-family residence on East Second Street near the North Fork Brewing Co.

The victims all lived on the third floor and could not escape. Five other residents in lower floors managed to escape. Police have not yet disclosed a cause of the fire, but confirmed it was not criminal from a preliminary investigation.

Sister Margaret Smyth of the North Fork Spanish Apostolate assisted the family with planning services and to help transport the bodies back to Guatemala, which will be done after the funeral. She said Monday about 400 people were expected at the services.

She had said the Guatemalan consulate was also involved as they worked to get paperwork together to help identify the deceased. All the personal paperwork had been destroyed in the fire, she said.

A GoFundMe page set up immediately after the fire to assist the family generated more than $73,000.