Community comes together to remember victims killed in fire

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FAIRLEA, WV (WVNS) — A vigil was held to remember the lives lost in a fatal fire earlier this month in Greenbrier County.

Community members gathered at the fairgrounds in Fairlea Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 for a candlelight vigil. Raven Bumgarner is the mother of two of the victims killed. Bumgarner told 59News the candles that flickered in their memory was more than just a somber tribute, it reflected the legacy the boys will always leave behind.

“They were lights. It didn’t matter what was going on. The good, the bad, the rainy days, they were lights. They made you happy. They made you feel good about yourselves,” Bumgarner said.

The oldest victim was just seven years-old. However, as Bumgarner said, their ages did not define them. They all had hearts of gold.

“They never thought about themselves, it was only everyone else. They thought about their brother, their sister, neighbors, anybody,” Bumgarner said.

The victims’ classmates and teachers at Frankford Elementary had nothing but kind things to say as well.

“A lot of their classmates wrote letters for the kids and almost every single one of them said they had good manners, they always smiled, they were kind, they were my best friend. Their teachers said the same thing they were always thinking of someone else, going out of their way to make someone feel special,” Bumgarner.

Bumgarner said her boys had something special planned this year for the holidays. She told 59News the boys were planning to make Christmas cards to send to kids to make them smile. Although they may not be here to send out those cards, the community is stepping up to bring their vision to life.

“I had one lady approach me saying they had 88 children they were going to sponsor. They are taking donations for clothes and toys, they are making it happen,” Bumgarner said.

There will be another vigil Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, at the Williamsburg Community Field. It will begin at 6 p.m.

The Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Department is handling the investigation.

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