Friends, community grieve after blaze that killed six

(Photo provided by Guerra family)
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At the scene of the fatal fire, a moment of reflection.

"This affects a lot of people," said Tammy Welsh, who showed up at the house on Olney Street with her daughter. Together, they are trying to comprehend the incomprehensible.

"Unfortunately, bad things happen to good people and you just can't explain it," said Welsh, talking about the 6 members of the Guerra family who died as a result of the fire.

For Tammy's 14-year-old daughter, Kara Evans, this is especially difficult. 

"Just hard losing someone that you care about so much," said Kara.

She was a classmate and friend of 14-year-old Miranda Guerra, who died in the blaze. The two leaned on each other. Myra, as Kara called her, would confide in her about her ailing father. 

"Her dad was having medical issues and I'm not exactly sure, but she was afraid of him dying, and she would tell me how scared she was," said Kara. "And I was just there for her."


The principal at Lighthouse Charter School, where the young victims were students says there will be grief counselors today to help students and teachers cope with this huge and horrible loss.

This tragedy affects even those trained to deal with death. 


"Sometimes, those guys will feel more comfortable talking to me as a fellow firefighter as opposed to talking to a counselor," explained Lt. Mike Senzig, a member of IFD's Peer Support Team. Team members have been talking to some of the firefighters who responded Saturday.

"(We) give groundwork as to what to look out for. Some of the healthy ways of dealing with stress, try to avoid the unhealthy ways of dealing with it," said Senzig

"She's with her family, and that's all that matters," said Kara. 

"I think definitely, yeah," her mother agreed. 

A young girl is learning a tough lesson about life. An entire community is touched by the horrific loss. 

"Makes me want to squeeze my children even tighter," said Welsh. "Love 'em as much as I can for as long as I can, 'cause you never know how long you have."