Foster mom of two oldest Smith children speaks out

NOW: Foster mom of two oldest Smith children speaks out

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- For the first time today, we're hearing from a woman who knew the Smith children personally.

Sarah Penick says she was the foster mom of the two oldest children, Angel and Demetris Smith, when they lived in Iowa.

After speaking to Penick, she's beyond heartbroken about the tragic fire. Back in 2013, when Angel and Demtrius were just newborns, Sarah says she stepped in and took care of them for about two years.

Sarah Penick says she came to know them because of her mom, who works as a social worker in Newton, Iowa.

Penick says she was working towards full adoption before the children ended up back with their father, David Smith, and his older daughter.

She says these kids were rays of sunshine in her life and her absolute favorite thing was reading to them before bed.

“Oh Angel was sassy, she was so sassy, she was back then a ball of energy and sunshine."

"Demetris he was my baby, I brought him home from the hospital when he was four pounds," said Penick.

And the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

There will be a memorial for the children at the Century Center here in South Bend on Monday, Feb. 5.

ABC57 will be live streaming the memorial on our website and Facebook.

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