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‘I’m holding on, trying to be strong’: Henrico mom lost 3 kids in fire

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A Henrico mother does not know if she will ever put her life back together after she lost three children in an apartment fire. Joreatha Lewis, 26, spoke out, for the first time, since the July 7 fire.

Jememiah, age seven, two-year-old Shyla, and one-year-old Sage, were asleep in their Highland Pointe apartment, along with Lewis' fiancé, Shawn Ross, when unattended food on the stove caught fire.

The children and Ross were pulled out of the apartment by Henrico firefighters, but were unresponsive. Lewis was at work at the time of the fire. All three children later died from their injuries.

Jeremiah, Shyla, and Sage

Lewis, who is seven months pregnant, said her children meant everything to her.

"To be honest, I'm trying to take it day by day. I'm just speechless. I'm restless. I can barely eat. I'm just holding on trying to be strong. It's very emotional at times," Lewis said through her tears.

While Lewis said she was doing her best to stay strong, she said she had no renter's insurance. She lost all of her possessions in the fire. She is not sure how she can pay to bury her children.

Friends and family members are contributing to a GoFundMe page to offset funeral costs. They also opened a Memorial Fund at Essex Bank in the children's names.

"I appreciate all the support because at this time I really do need that one thing. So, support is really welcome and needed," Lewis explained.

Lewis said she appreciated prayers for her fiancé, who is still in the hospital, and has a message for Ross' family.

"I want them to continue to pray and believe and have faith. I never gave up, so I just want everyone to know to be strong and pray and have faith and that I love them," she said.