POTTSTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — Dozens gathered in Pottstown to hold a vigil on Sunday night to remember the five people, including four children, who died after a house exploded last week. The blast leveled the home and damaged eight other houses.
The tune of “Amazing Grace” echoed through the Pottstown High School parking lot as residents bowed their heads and fought back tears.READ MORE: Philadelphia Police Searching For Suspect Accused Of Fatally Shooting 77-Year-Old Man In Juniata
“After a seemingly unending series of tragedies that were taking place in our country and in the global community, tragedy hit us at home,” a woman said.
Dozens gathered Sunday to honor the lives of four children and their grandmother killed in a home explosion in Pottstown.
The blast leveled their home on the 400 block of Hale Street Thursday evening.
“It’s devastating because I see them out front, they were always outside playing,” a woman said.
Investigators say five people were killed in the explosion on the 400 block of Hale Street on Thursday night. They were identified as 67-year-old Francine White, 13-year-old Alana Wood, 12-year-old Jeremiah White, 10-year-old Nehemiah White, 8-year-old Tristan White.READ MORE: Montgomery County Officer Grazed By Bullet During Philly’s 4th Of July Fireworks Feels ‘Lucky’ To Walk Away From Incident
“Nehemiah was a little spit fire, Tristan was just he had this little deep voice, deeper than most kids you know really great smile,” a woman said.
Those words repeated throughout the vigil.
“It’s really sad because they didn’t get to live the rest of their life,” Diamond Henderson said.
Officials say the children’s parents, 44-year-old Eugene White and 32-year-old Kristina Matuzsan, were both hospitalized and placed in critical condition. The explosion that changed their lives is still under investigation.
“One thing we have to find out is what the cause was and depending on what comes back with that we can go from there,” State Rep. Joe Ciresi said. “It’s still under investigation. Whether it was a gas leak or not but the loss of life, we need to make sure never happens again.”
“We just want to say thank you from the bottom of our heart thank you,” one person said. “Thank you so much to each and every last face in here.”MORE NEWS: PHL Airport Receiving $24 Million In Federal Funding For Terminal Improvements
Several homes were also damaged and forced residents to leave.