Funeral services set for Hibbing fire victim
HIBBING, Minn. — Funeral arrangements have been announced for one of the four family members who died from injuries suffered in a house fire earlier this week in Hibbing.
Visitation for 9-year-old Todd Jacob Gillitzer Jr. will take place Friday, Dec. 29, from 4-7 p.m. at St. Francis Catholic Church in Benson, Minn., continuing from 9:30 a.m. until the 10:30 a.m. Mass at the church on Saturday.
The fourth-grader, who went by his middle name, died along with his grandparents Steven and Patricia Gillitzer and 4-year-old cousin Isaiah Adams after a fire in the grandparents' home in Hibbing early Tuesday. Authorities said Jacob's 8-year-old brother, Jonathan, was saved from the fire by Steven Gillitzer, who died after going back into the home in an attempt to save the others.
The cousins had been staying at their grandparents' home for a sleepover. Funeral arrangements for Isaiah, and for Steven and Patricia Gillitzer, were pending Thursday night. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Meanwhile, online fundraisers have been established for the families of Jacob and Isaiah.
The fundraiser for Isaiah's family described the 4-year-old as "quick to hug, full of kisses, ready to sing and dance and always curious as to what was behind that next door," with a smile that lit up a room.
Jacob played hockey, baseball and football, and was described on the fundraising page as "an amazing boy, so full of life with an unforgettable laugh and smile."
The fundraisers can be found at gofundme.com/isaiahadams and gofundme.com/jacobsfunds.
Steven Gillitzer, 67, was a retired fire captain with the Hibbing Fire Department. He and Patricia, 63, were remembered by friends as an active couple who loved the outdoors and were always in good spirits.