Cleanup Planned in Pottsville Memorial Garden

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POTTSVILLE, Pa. -- Next weekend will be the five-year anniversary of a fire that killed four children and two adults in Pottsville.

Community members are now getting together to honor the lives lost, not only in that fire, but another tragedy that happened decades before.

At Bunker Hill Park in Pottsville, there is a garden.

"It just affected me, again, being a mother and I felt horrible for the mom," Michelle Yarnell said.

In the garden, there are stones with the names of six children lost in two fires over the years.

Four of them died in a fire on Pierce Street in Pottsville on Mother's Day of 2013.

The other two children died in a fire on the same street two decades earlier.

"I felt, what better place to remember the kids at than up here at the playground where they played a lot?"

Five years ago, Michelle Yarnell and several community members put this memorial garden together for the family members of the children who were lost.

Now, they plan to clean up the park.

"We're going to put new mulch in, flowers. There's lots of raking to do, weeding. These benches will be sanded and repainted and these are the children's' favorite colors."

Yarnell also plans to replace the memorial stones in the garden with new ones they include the children's' favorite toys.

She's asking the community to help her revamp the garden on Mother's Day weekend.

A woman who lives across from where one of the fires happened is thankful for the garden.

"It's hard to do something in this area for them but I think the playground would be nice," Colleen Kline said.

"It's something that you're never going to get over but I'm just hoping this is a place for them to visit and that way they can maybe get some peace and some closure and some connection with the kids," Yarnell added.

If you would like to help clean up the garden in Pottsville, you can do so next Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon.

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