Family mourns mom who died in horrific Queens arson, as her baby boy recovers from his burns
The baby boy badly burned in a horrific arson at his Queens home last month was making great strides in his recovery at a Texas hospital Tuesday as his devastated family put his mother to rest during a heart-wrenching funeral service.
Little Liam Dominguez, who suffered burns to about 95% of his body in the July 10 blaze and will turn 1 on Thursday, sat up on his own Tuesday, family members said.
Hours later, family members gathered for a Spanish-language funeral at the Church of the Latter Day Saints in Rego Park to pay their final respects to his mother, Elizabeth Rodriguez, 35, who died almost a month after the blaze.
Her closed white casket was adorned with a bouquet of carnations and a single pink rose, as a choir sang hymns, accompanied by a solo piano player.
"Loving, vibrant, festive, full of energy. Beautiful person in and out. She loved her family dearly,” her sister-in-law Denise Moreno said ahead of the service. “She will be greatly, greatly missed.”
Rodriguez was the fourth victim of the deadly arson on 93rd St., including her father, 76-year-old Claudio Rodriguez, her 6-year-old daughter, Emma Dominguez, and 23-year-old David Abreu-Nunez, the unstable firebug who started the blaze.
Relatives said Abreu-Nunez was a family friend from the Dominican Republic who needed a place to stay, and that the Rodriguez family was moved by his story of being beaten and robbed in the Bronx.
But when they found out he was being charged criminally for inventing the robbery story, they wanted him out, and he retaliated by igniting a fire in the kitchen.