PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Remembering the four children lost in the deadly Southwest Philadelphia fire has some community activists now raising concerns.

With a song and a prayer, the victims, families and community leaders stood in solidarity Thursday evening. They called it a night to start the healing process.

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The need to rebuild was evident with homes still boarded up and the Red Cross still assisting 14 families following the July 5th inferno on Gesner Street (see related stories).

Since the tragedy, all agree the public has answered the calls for help with donations still pouring in. But on this night, some contend with the growing donations, there is also mounting concern.

Rev. Paul Moore, Community Activist said, “There seems to be a lack of communication. Who’s going to be the auditor? There’s too much funds with too many hands. Write a check for this one, write a check there. They should dig deeper into where these funds are going and what’s really going on.”

CBS 3 is told leaders of the Christ International Baptist Church have set up a finance committee. No word yet on a dollar figure and how much has been raised so far but officials maintain this is a work in process.

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Rev. Napoleon Divine with Christ International Baptist Church explained, “We are really working hard to establish some level of stability for the families and I think it’s disingenuous to suggest that even in light of all that we’ve done that things are not organized.”

Divine says the greatest need for the victims is monetary donations. A fund, he says, has been set up at Wells Fargo bank and checks should be made out to: “Liberian Association of Pennsylvania/Fire Victims”.

In response, City officials say they understand the concern and vow to monitor this process and make sure only the victims benefit from the donated funds.


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