Emotional crowd gathers at vigil for Franklin St. fire victims - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Emotional crowd gathers at vigil for Franklin St. fire victims

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A large crowd gathered at the scene of Monday's deadly fire on West Franklin Street to show their support for the families of those killed. 

Many of those family members arrived at the Saturday night's vigil in a limo. They joined friends and even some strangers in light candles to remember the three victims of the fire.

The message of the vigil was simple. Everyone gathered to pray and try to move on.

Signs written, candles lit, balloons flying. Friends, family and complete strangers came to show their support for the family who saw three family members die in Monday's fatal fire.

Bonnie Smith and Alicia Lile organized Saturday's vigil. They say they wanted to give everyone a chance to grieve and pray for those involved.

"We weren't only here to pray for this family. We were here to pray for Chris's family also. His family meant just as much to them as this family did. This support group is what we need," Smith said.

Family members comforted each other throughout the service as they thanked everyone for their support.

Smith and Lile wanted the vigil to be a chance for the community and friends to comfort the family. The group that didn't know each other until Monday say little things, like free limo service to the service, mean the world.

"A lot of the family doesn't drive, so this limo service making sure people get to the funeral, it's amazing," Lile said.

Now, they work to put the family at ease.

"This says we're going to get through this day by day. With everyone that came out, that's what we were looking for," Smith said.

They both say they have found a friend who they can trust to help get them through this tough time.

"We try not to be emotional because they're emotional and we're here for them. We try to stay strong in front of them. But, we have each other to, away from them, cry and vent," Smith shared.

Both Smith and Lile say the hardest part is yet to come for the family. They will begin making funeral arrangements on Monday.

The family wants to say thank you on their behalf to all those who attended and assisted with Saturday's vigil.

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