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Community of Pottsville Holds Vigil for Fire Victims

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POTTSVILLE -- Friday's vigil was organized by folks who said they needed to do something to deal with the sadness of the tragic fire that killed six people last Sunday.

Dozens of people who knew the victims and even those who didn't gather on pierce street in Pottsville in front of 235 Pierce Street.

They gathered to honor and remember the six people who died in the building: Eric Brown, Christina Thomas, and Brown's four children: Joy, 8, Jeremiah, 7, Emily, 3, and Elijah, 2.

This vigil was organized by friends by friends of Kelly Brown, the children's mother, Eric Brown's wife and Christina's sister.

In one terrible night, Kelly Brown lost her family.

"We decided to organize it because we wanted to let Kelly know she wasn't alone in this tragedy . We're all here supporting her, she has no one left. She lost her whole entire family and we want her to know we love her and we're supporting her and she doesn't have to go through this alone," said Christine Swartz, Pottsville.

Kelly Brown was at the vigil, shielded by friends.

She released balloons into the sky, one for each member of her family.

"I don't know what I would do if I had to lose a child or had to lose six members of my family at the same time. I mean it's just sad," said James Hartnett of Pottsville.

"I know Eric and the kids are here with us tonight and they'll be shining down on us. They're at peace and they are all together and I have to believe that," said Nicole Ervolino, Eric Brown's cousin.

The community has been reeling since the tragedy.

Some said this vigil is a way to cope with the senseless loss.

"I think it will help everybody heal and I feel that it will just help everybody be at ease and know that even though we lost them, they're going to be in our hearts. It's hard," said
Gypsy Williams, of Pottsville.

Funeral services for the six fire victims in Pottsville are scheduled for Friday.

For complete Newswatch 16 coverage of this story, click here.