Prayer Vigil for West Franklin Fire Victims

Published 03/22 2014 10:49PM

Updated 03/22 2014 11:03PM

More than an hour before the victim's family arrived, friends were preparing for a tearful service. Standing in the front yard of a now dark house where three lives were claimed earlier this week, more than 50 people gather to help a grieving family anyway they could. "They brought stuffed animals, they brought clothes for the girls, gave phone numbers if they needed anything. Some handed me money, some handed me letters. I kept it up until family got here and gave it to them," said Bonnie Smith a friend of one of the fire victims.

The family of the victims arrived in a donated limousine. The crowd made a path for the family to walk up to the front to light candles. Friends said a few words to the crowd, urging them to not only pray for the victim's family but also the family of Christopher Compton, the man charged with lighting the fire. "We weren't here to think about what happened to this apartment. We were here to think about all of them as who we knew them personally. We weren't here only here to pray for this family we were here to pray for Chris' family also," said Smith.

After friends spoke the crowd was led in prayer. An opportunity for those grieving to bow their heads in unison and lean on not only one another, but a higher power for strength. "And by and by we will get through this together as a community. In Jesus Christ's name we pray and all of God's people said amen."

After prayer the vigil service ended, but many lingered around to offer condolences and comfort. "We're going to get through this day by day and everyone that came out, that's exactly what we were looking for," said Smith.

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