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'We're just barely keeping it together:' Family coping with loss of teen in Sterling Heights fire

A Sterling Heights family is trying to come to terms with the sudden loss of their loved one, 18-year-old Christian Koki.

Koki was killed when the house she was living in caught fire Wednesday. In a matter of hours everything changed for the Koki family.

There were four people inside the house at the time the fire started, including Christian Koki. The others were: Jessica Koki, who is in critical condition at a hospital, Michael Koki, 14, also in critical condition, and Jessica Koki's boyfriend.

"Our family's never going to be whole again," Samantha Koki said. "We miss Christian so, so much. It's like so heavy, it, like, hurts to breathe, to eat. My insides hurt, my mom feels the same way. We're just barely keeping it together.

Samantha Koki said Christian Koki was an artistic and lively young woman. She cannot believe her sister is gone and her other siblings are critically injured.

"We're trying to stay strong for them so that they can pull through as well," she said.

The family is also trying to figure out what to do with their house, which was heavily damaged in the fire.

"Not in my worst nightmares could I have imagined something so, so important to me could have looked so, so hellish," Samantha Koki said.

The Kokis' family, friends and the community are stepping in to help them get through the tragedy.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help with medical and funeral costs. You can donate here: Koki Family Tragic House Fire.

Information on Christian Koki's funeral services can be found here. The family said she wanted people to wear white and that black and white attire is encouraged..


About the Authors:

Koco McAboy

Koco McAboy was born and raised in Metro Detroit. She joined the Local 4 News team in September of 2016, and worked at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids prior to that. Koco went to Central Michigan University where she graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Broadcast and Cinematic Arts with minors in Spanish and Political Science.

Kayla Clarke

Kayla is a web producer with an English degree from Michigan State University. Before joining the ClickOnDetroit team in 2018, she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.