EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSHEARTBREAKING GOODBYE
from Eyewitness News Online
Thousands Mourn Victims Of Fire
Reported by: Kristin Keeling
Web Producer: Kristin Keeling
Reported: Mar. 31, 2012 6:48 PM EDT
Updated: Mar. 31, 2012 7:01 PM EDT
St. Albans , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Thousands of heavy hearts packed into Maranatha Fellowship Church to say goodbye to five little kids and a mom taken too soon, in the worst fire in Charleston's history.
"Any time that someone loses a life in the tragedy like this it's very heavy but when you multiply that by six...it's heavier than usual," said Pastor at Maranatha, Darren Powell.
It was obvious that those six people: Alisha, Elijah, Emmanuel, Timothy, Jeremiah and Keahana no matter how old all managed to touch the lives of so many.
"These were just some kids where you could not ignore the smiles," said Alisha's aunt, Rodell Jones.
The smiles and spirit of the lives lost brought in thousands of family and friends from across the country. Some knew the little kids and Alisha intimately, and others were just there to lend a shoulder to cry on.
"I think the world needs love more than anything else and we're all one in God's sight," said church member, Frances Samples.
Aunts of the victims printed shirts showing Alisha and the five kids in a much happier time. They say those happy memories are helping them make it through.
For those who adored the family, the heartbreaking goodbye is just one of the first steps on an unimaginable road to healing. But they say they will get through leaning on memories, faith, and one another.
"Life goes on. I mean it's a tragic loss but we have to hold up our family," said victims' uncle, James Davis.
"With God being on my side, that's my strength. That's my strength," explained Jones.
The other three victims, Alex Seals and his twin daughters Kiki and Gigi will be laid to rest in Pittsburgh where they were from.
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