QUAKERTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A community is coming together to help a family devastated by a fire that killed a Quakertown father and two of his sons early Christmas morning. The mother and another son made it to safety.
We are hearing from a friend and fellow coach who knew the victims well.READ MORE: NBA At 75: Former 76er Dr. J Says Players From Many Eras Built League
Rob Henry coached at the Quakertown Youth Association and knew Eric King and two young boys killed in a Quakertown house fire early Christmas morning. Rob’s son Gavin played baseball and basketball with fifth-grader Liam.
For many in this small community of Quakertown, the weight of this immense tragedy is still very difficult to bear.
“I was actually just sitting on the bench with Liam about three weeks ago, talking to him about basketball, and he was telling me about his uncle and his dad and just sharing stories,” Henry said.
Henry is one of many still coming to terms with the Christmas day tragedy that claimed the life of a father and his two young sons.
“It didn’t seem real, still doesn’t seem real,” he said.
Officials say around 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning, a fire sparked by a Christmas tree engulfed the King’s family home on Essex Court in Quakertown.
Mom Kristin and eighth-grade son Brady were able to make it out. Eric King and fifth-grade son Liam and third-grade son Patrick did not.READ MORE: Sharon Hill Police Officers Charged With Manslaughter In Fatal Shooting Of 8-Year-Old Fanta Bility
“I can’t even imagine how they are doing and just the grief,” Henry said.
Two days later, a memorial of flowers, teddy bears and Christmas decorations is growing outside the charred rubble as a community comes together to support one of their own.
“So many people care about them and love them. Just want to do whatever we can to help them,” Henry said.
As of Monday, a GoFundMe page has raised more than $600,000 for a mother and son left to grieve and try to rebuild.
“It’s just so tragic,” Henry said.
Comforted — perhaps in a small way — to know the memory of those lost will not soon be forgotten.
“I think if you can learn from them, just be kind,” Henry said.
The GoFundMe page had to be suspended. The organizer cited hacking attempts.MORE NEWS: Police Searching For Older Model Cadillac In Connection To Murder Of Pregnant Woman Last November
Those closest to the King family have set up another page to donate gift cards and say they are planning to help raise funds come spring through the Quakertown Youth Association.