Vigil for 13-Year-Old Fire Victim

SCRANTON, Pa. -- It was an emotional evening for friends and family of a 13-year-old boy who died when a fire tore through his home in Scranton.

A vigil was held Friday to remember Brandin Churmblo and those gathered were brought to tears seeing his parents light the last two candles at his memorial.

The mother of 13-year-old Brandin Churmblo sobbed as she and Brandin’s stepfather lit the last two candles at this memorial built in his honor.

Brandin, an 8th grader at Northeast Scranton Intermediate School died when a fire tore through the double blockhouse where he lived with his parents and two younger brothers early yesterday morning.

As investigators continue to look for a cause, Brandin’s community held a vigil on Wayne Avenue where Brandin once lived just two days ago.

His grandmother says Brandin was the best child you could wish for.

“He was a good kid, an A student, played football, his friends loved him at school, he was just an all-around good kid,” said grandmother Kim Seigal. “He’s going to be very missed by all of us.”

Brandin’s mom’s coworker says she knows what her friend is going through.

“I lost my son four years ago, so I know what she’s feeling, it’s not, it’s just overwhelming,” said Jessica Thomas.

Many here are current or former classmates of Brandin’s.

Elias Spencer played freshman football for Scranton High School with Brandin.

“He was there for everyone when someone would do good, like right after, he’ll say ‘oh yeah bro, you did good on that catch, nice catch, nice touchdown’,” said Spencer. “He was the only kid in our locker room who was really happy.”

The family says if there’s any kind of solace they can find in this time of tremendous grief, it’s this kind of community support that’s helping them get by.

“It brings a comfort,” said Brandin’s great aunt Sharon McPhillips. “For Brandin and they’re here for him and his family.”

“Knowing there’s people out there that care,” said Seigal.

“Everybody knew that was my little man and I tried to make sure he had a father figure in his life,” Brandin’s stepfather told those gathered.

In Brandin’s absence, this family of now four will cling to one another in this time of suffering.

A GoFundMe account has been set up through his mother's employer, Arley Wholesale.

Since yesterday it has already received more than 25-thousand dollars.


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