Children mourning loss of their mother, stepfather in boiler explosion

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – A fourth person has died following Tuesday’s boiler explosion at Loy-Lange Box Company.

Clifford Lee was helping a newly married couple, Tonya Gonzalez-Suarez and Christopher Watkins, fill out paperwork at Faultless Healthcare Linen when a large piece of the exploded crashed through the roof, crushing all three of them.

The incident happened shortly before 8 a.m. at the Loy-Lange Box Company, located at 222 Russell Boulevard. A van-sized piece of the boiler went airborne and crashed through the roof of Faultless, located at 2030 S. Broadway. Another piece of the boiler crashed into Pioneer Industrial, located at 400 Russel Boulevard, causing water damage. No one was injured in that building.

Gonzalez-Suarez and Watkins were married on February 27. They got jobs together at Faultless.

“I don’t understand. I will never understand,” said Nicole Favignano, Gonzalez-Suarez’s daughter. She and her brother, Nate, remain shocked and in disbelief over the freak accident that killed their mother and stepfather.

“Nobody’s ever going to take her place,” Nate said. “Every night I lay down, she’s not there; it’s what’s killing me the most.”

Nicole said her mom had turned her life around. She found God, repaired her relationship with her kids, got a new job, and married her best friend; a man Nicole credits for bringing the best out of her mom.

“He was a hard worker, a loving person, kind,” she said. “He did everything for her. They were just happy!”

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page has been created to help the siblings deal with finances.

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