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Remembering Children Killed in Pottsville Fire

POTTSVILLE — The victims of a devastating Mother’s Day fire in Pottsville are being remembered, all due to the efforts of volunteers.

Jeff Ludwig plays with his children at the recently renovated Bunker Hill playground in Pottsville. He remembers the fire in his neighborhood which started on Mother’s Day. Then came the news that members of the Brown family were killed, the father Eric, his sister-in-law, and Brown’s four children.

“I just remember a lot of screaming and yelling and opening up the back door and seeing a ball of red flames shooting out of the house,” Ludwig said.

Ludwig’s stepson, Ryan Ney said one of the victims was 9-year-old Joy, his friend.

“She was a great friend and she (was) nice to me…The next day I found out I cried.”

But that sorrow is being turned into something positive. The Brown children used to play in the park and they’re being remembered. Individual stones with their names and the kind of toys they played with will be dedicated this Sunday at 6:30.  There are also benches in their name.

Jolene Renninger said she’s one of the volunteers working on the project.

“They’re going to have a balloon release at 7 o’clock with the notes from the kids they can draw pictures, do the message and they’ll release them at 7 o’clock.”

The memorial garden was put together by volunteers and they are hoping for a good turnout.  There is an extra stone here and a bench with the names of 2 children killed in a fire 20 years ago. Volunteer Miranda Dayson said that fatal fire is only four homes away from where the Brown children died.

“They really didn’t do anything. I feel they need something in memory of them.”  Dayson explained.

Some say a lot of work has taken place here at the playground and park on Pierce Street all to remember the children lost in the fires.


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