Funeral service held for 2 children in Escondido house fire - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Funeral service held for 2 children in Escondido house fire

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A heartbreaking scene inside a church as friends and family were still in shock that two children are gone from their lives.

About a thousand family and friends gathered at a funeral service on Friday to say goodbye to 5-year-old Ellie Flores and 11-year-old Diego Flores-Vidal.

The two children died in a fire at their Greencrest mobile home in Escondido on December 29.

Ellie died at the scene and Diego died at UC San Diego Medical Center Burn Unit a few days later.

Angel Ramirez, a friend of Diego, tells CBS News 8, "Diego was a good friend...he was nice, he was caring."

Ellie Flores was taken into the church in a pink casket. Her family called her strong, brave and always happy.

They say Diego was was intelligent, with many talents and a charming smile.

Miles Garvey, a neighbor, helped set up a GoFundMe.com page for the family. The fund has collected nearly $60,000 for the funeral and to help the family with other expenses.

Garvey says, "They already told me over and over how grateful they are but I did it just to help them because you can't replace a human life. There's no dollar amount that can replace a human life."

On Thursday night, Chick-fil-a Escondido hosted a fundraiser in honor of the Flores family.

A community member reached out to the restaurant and Chick-fil-a decided to donate a portion of Thursday night's proceeds.

"It's been terrific, it far surpasses any of our expectations and we hope that we've been able to be a light to this family during this time," Tyler Reese, Director of Operations, Chik-fil-a said.

Escondido Fire Chief Russ Knowles said the fire may have been sparked by an electrical failure or a candle near a Christmas tree. No smoke detectors were found in the home.

The adults made several trips in an attempt to remove all the children from the home, however Ellie and Diego were unaccounted for when first responders arrived, according to the Medical Examiner.

Diego was transported to Palomar Medical Center and then UCSD Medical Center, where his condition continued to decline. He was declared brain dead on December 30.

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