Neighbors pay tribute to Richmond Hill victims
Residents gathered Saturday in the Richmond Hill neighborhood that was devastated in the south side explosion six weeks ago.
The three people charged with causing the deadly Nov. 10th blast will be in court Monday morning. The homeowner, her boyfriend and his brother are all behind bars facing murder and arson charges.
Meanwhile, neighbors got together at the scene of the crime hoping to find peace after so much upheaval.
"With all of the houses going down, it just keeps getting darker and darker," commented one resident.
The sun sets fast this time of year and darkness comes even faster in the Richmond Hill subdivision. It has been six weeks since the explosion, which police say was set on purpose, turned this quiet neighborhood into a 24/7 crime scene.
"Because you had the big spot lights and they are taking those down and before you had the police cars and lights as everything is dwindling. Now you have dark," said another resident.
But for a few hours Saturday, the dark sidewalks were lit by the warm glow of candles. Residents set up paper lanterns with the goal of remembering the victims, Dion and Jennifer Longworth, and of bringing a sense of peace to this neighborhood that was literally rocked to its foundations by the blast.
"You look at these lanterns. They are so delicate-looking. It just sends a calmness for the neighborhood. I know that night it was nothing but chaos," said Maureen Ajaime, Richmond Hill resident.
For the first time in weeks, neighbors were standing next to each other and talking to one another. They are grateful that the investigation, for the most part, is over. It's still hard to believe for some of them that it was a deliberate act.
"After yesterday...because you don't want to think one of your neighbors would..." said one resident.
Soil taken from the yard of the Longworths' home was used to fill the luminaries. The lights were arranged in the center of a playground - the one place in this neighborhood torn apart that remains untouched.