When a West Virginia story makes the national news, usually the news isn't good. That was the case this weekend when the worst house fire in Charleston's history claimed eight lives, including two adults and six children, ranging in age from 18 months to 8 years old, early Saturday morning. Three of the children were three years old.
I didn't know the people involved but know people who do. I can't imagine what this must be like for surviving friends and family members. Charleston may be the state capitol, but it's kind of a fair-sized small town and I know this comes as a hard blow to many who live there.
My thoughts also go out to those who responded to the fire. A while back, I served for a few years on our local volunteer fire department. Most of our calls were for things like car accidents, floods, brush fires, and assisting emergency medical technicians. Fully involved structure fires were fortunately few and the ones I responded to involved no human fatalities, although some on our department had been on such calls. People drawn to firefighting, volunteer or professional, gravitate to that calling because they want to save lives and it can be rough on responders when they can't do that.
It's just bad all the way around. No edifying words can help.
Meanwhile, keep an eye on those candles and check the smoke detectors.
UPDATE: The news just got even sadder. As of Sunday evening, the Charleston Gazette reported the death of another 7 year old child from the fire.