Nineveh fire victims mourned at Sunday vigil

Chris Abbott

They came to pay respects.

"Just a lot of love and a lot of  grace have been poured out upon this family," said Pastor Paul Taylor of The Crossing church in Nineveh. 

As the sun set ending a holiday weekend, about a hundred people gathered.  They sang "Jesus Loves Me" and "Amazing Grace".  They held hands and stood in a circle.  

"He needs your support, he needs your love and he needs your prayers," said Pastor Taylor, referring to Chris Abbott.  He lost his wife Sirena, six-month-old son John and 18-month-old daughter Haley in the fire that consumed their home November 22nd. 

On Sunday the community embraced him. 

"It means the world to me that everybody's behind me:  the community, the family," said Abbott, barley able to speak. 

Prayers now are critical. 

"Between my faith and my family...that's all I got." Said Abbott. 

He was on his was home from work.  He saw the house engulfed.  He knew his children were inside.  

"It's very hard that I wasn't able to save my two kids and my wife.  That's the hardest part.  I can never hold my kids again."

He also knows his wife got out.  Then went back in. 

"She went in that house, she tried to save my kids, and for that she lost her own life. She did what any mother should do in that situation. And she's a hero in my eyes.  And she always will be," he explained.

And so now a community is trying to make sense of the senseless.

"Somehow, Father, we pick up the pieces together...and we go forward," the pastor's prayers continued. 

At the gathering, balloons were released in memory, while the community is trying to help those now left behind. 

Abbott says he derives strength every day from his five-year-old daughter who survived the fire unharmed. 

His wife and two other children will be laid to rest in a combined ceremony at the family's church in Nineveh next Saturday. 


Saturday, December 7 1:00 p.m.
The Crossing
8728 South Nineveh Road
Nineveh, IN  46124 

Donations for the Abbott family are being accepted by the church.