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'Three Wives, One Husband' Stars In Mourning After Deadly House Fire

TLC / GoGundMe

The stars of TLC's popular reality series Three Wives, One Husband are in mourning after the death of one of their 20 children.

Details are trickling out about the deadly house fire last weekend which took the life of polygamist Enoch Foster's two-year-old son, Adonija.

A deadly fire

Adonija foster death
A fire at the Foster family's home killed their young son Adonija.Channel 4

The San Juan County Sheriff's department says a fire broke out in the room where Adonija was sleeping last Saturday.

Speaking to the Salt Lake Tribune, Enoch foster says it's still unclear what caused the fire, but that Adonija had been seen playing with matches that day.

"I’m unsure if maybe he still had some matches," he said.

Adonija Foster
Adonija Foster.Foster Family

"Maybe there was something smoldering that [his sister] didn’t see. And we don’t know if it was him or maybe his older brother that was playing with them."

Enoch and Adonija's mother Lilian - one of Enoch's three wives - were both out of the home when the fire broke out.

They managed to retrieve their son from the home, and a neighbor administered CPR, but an emergency crew who arrived by helicopter pronounced the boy dead at the scene.

Two other children in the home were treated for smoke inhalation but released from hospital the same day.

A TV star from birth

Adonjija's birth, which was featured in the opening moments of Three Wives, One Husband's first episode, made the two-year-old an instant celebrity.

Adonija Foster
A young Adonija on 'Three Wives, One Husband.'TLC

"It brings his mother comfort knowing she chose to share his birth with so many — that so many got the opportunity to meet him," Foster said.

He remembers the toddler as a mischievous boy with a knack for getting into trouble.

In just days, a GoFundMe account set up on the Foster family's behalf has raised more than $43,000.

"The Fosters have helped so many people, expecting nothing in return," wrote the page's manager Penny Batchelor.

"This family can use all the support they can get and I know they will be forever grateful."

The controversial polygamist family made headlines earlier this year, when they were reportedly worried about legal trouble.

Life in Rockland Ranch

Enoch Foster and his two wives, Catrina and Lillian, agreed to film a reality series about their life in 2016 for British television.

Three Wives, One Husband
Foster's third wife, Lydia, joined the family during the series.TLC

The show followed the Foster family, who call themselves fundamentalist Mormons, and their neighbors in Rockland Ranch, Utah.

The Ranch is a religious community founded by Foster's father in the 1970s, and many families in the small town are polygamist.

The series explored the addition of a third wife, Lydia, to the family, along with with new children including Adonija.

Legal troubles

After the reality series was taped, Utah passed new anti-bigamy laws.

Sister Wives
A legal challenge from the Brown family led Utah to change their bigamy laws.TLC

The state had famously lost a court case to the Brown family, who appear on the hit reality show Sister Wives, over whether laws against polygamy were unconstitutional.

The Browns won their case before the decision was overturned, and have since moved to Las Vegas, Nevada.

When TLC purchased the rights to air Three Wives, One Husband in America, the Fosters were reportedly worried they could face jail time because of the documentary.

Three Wives, One Husband
TLC

Utah's new laws include a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for living with a second reported spouse as a married person.

A family friend of the Fosters says they had no say in whether TLC aired their series, and only found out weeks before it ran in America.

"When the show was filmed, being a [polygamist] in Utah wasn't illegal...it is again," he told In Touch.

"So the fact that it's in the U.S. is slightly more scary now. As far as I know, they are staying put."

But in fact many people were surprised by the family dynamics featured on the reality series.

Three Wives, One Husband

When the reality series began, the "throuple" of Enoch, Catrina and Lillian already had 17 children (including Adonija).

Adonija Foster
Adonija and his mother Lillian.TLC

As the show continued, Enoch's third wife, Lydia, joined the cast.

But like Sister Wives, many viewers were surprised by the complicated relationships featured on the show.

As Catrina explained on the series about adding a second wife to her family:

"I fell so deeply in love with Enoch and I felt like being married to a man who had so much love to give, I find myself wanting to give someone else the opportunity to share in that."

Since the reality series wrapped, the growing family continued to grow, and before Adonija's death the fosters had 20 children.

Plans for the future

Three Wives, One Husband
The Foster family say grace.TLC

With all of the legal complications and the recent tragedy, it's unlikely we'll see new episodes of Three Wives, One Husband any time soon.

A memorial service for Adonija will be held this weekend, and then Foster says he's planning "a family trip and get away for a while."

You can donate to Adonija's GoFundMe page here.

Rest in peace Adonija, our thoughts and prayers go out to the Fosters at this sad time.

[H/T: The Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News]

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