The former Elmira home of four children who died Saturday in a Rochester fire has become a memorial site. Our Bill Mich was on Oak Street in Elmira as more than 200 people gathered for a candlelight vigil Wednesday night in memory of their neighbors and friends.
ELMIRA, N.Y. --The evening started with a prayer as an Elmira community came together to mourn the loss of four children who died in a house fire in Rochester Saturday. 14-year-old Gage Reavey, along with 13-year-old Greg, 11-year-old Kandee, and 6-year-old Kaiden Kugler lived on Oak Street in Elmira before moving to Rochester in November. Their death came as a shock to their former community.
"I've been really quiet lately. I haven't been talking to any of my friends. I've been crying more than ever. Sometimes I think there's no more tears to cry," said friend, Aleesia Williams.
"I just kind of sat in my room and cried." "And me and my mom cried in each others arms," said friends Jillian McAlinn and Manajia Truax.
As hundreds of people gathered with candles in hand to mourn the loss of the children, the evening was also meant to be a celebration of their life, sharing memories of all the good times they had.
"If it was a dark day, Kandee would make it shine. They were fun," said friend Malea Molina.
Dozens of candles were placed at the door of the children's former home as the community tries to recover. And neighbors say they are more than willing to reach out to a family in need.
"I am hoping that everyone has put their prayers for the family and the mother Bobbie Jo, and to know that we are standing by her. If there is anything she needs, she knows how to get ahold of people," said friend and neighbor Phyllistine Long.
As one friend of the children said, the amount of people who showed up Wednesday night just goes to show how much everyone loved Gage, Greg, Kandee, and Kaiden.