MCADOO — A community in Schuylkill County came out to support a family who lost both their home and a young girl in a fire.
The fire broke out nearly a week ago in McAdoo, killing seven-year-old Madison Arner.
Clutching multi-colored balloons, the community here in McAdoo came together at the McAdoo Fire House for two reasons: to remember Madison Arner and to support her family in their time of need.
“With family and friends, we’re dealing with it. It’s very touching how the community came together to remember my daughter,” said Madison’s father John Arner.
The girl known as Maddie to friends and family died at the hospital after a fire broke out inside her home here on Kennedy Drive last Saturday night. The fire also sent her mother, sister and another man to the hospital.
“It’s emotional. It’s been tough. All I can say is just help them out as much as you can. We’ve set up donation boxes at Burger King, at the Gulf Station. They’re all over town,” said Samantha Dunphy.
“It’s really sad, especially for a young girl like her. She had her whole life ahead of her. I feel really bad for the family,” said Dominique DeSpirito.
The fire was ruled accidental and the family cannot stay in their home, which sits across the street from the fire company.
“We’re going to put the fire truck at Maddie’s funeral on Tuesday. The guys are going to take it over and they’re going to escort the family down to the cemetery,” said McAdoo Assistant Fire Chief Bob Leshko.
As candles were lit, the balloons were released as a sign of closure for a community that has spent the past week in sorrow.
“For the parents, for all the little kids because they’re not in school to be able to grieve together. There’s no school, so this is just a way that we kind of feel like everybody can come and just have closure,” said Jennifer Wesner.