HOMEWOOD (KDKA) – A community is mourning after a woman and her three children were killed in a Thursday morning fire.
A vigil has taken shape at the burned out home where they lived and died in Homewood.
Friends and neighbors gathered outside the home tonight to offer prayers and condolences.
They say it’s the first of many efforts to support the family in their time of loss during the holidays.
Neighbors feeling the tragic loss of a mother and three children, placed balloons, flowers and other mementos at the front door of the burned out apartment.
Several neighbors are living with the fact that they could do nothing to save them.
“Banging on people’s doors trying to get the neighbors out screaming, ‘Fire!’ Did everything that was right, but was not enough,” one woman said
The victims are identified as 23-year-old Indera Culverson.
A 3-year-old girl was the only surviving child. Her twin died, as well as her two brothers, 6-year-old Ky’ Yrik McCullough and 7-year-old My’ Zhirik McCullough.
Investigators believe the fire started on the second floor and flames spread into the hallway which trapped the victims.
The cause is still under investigation, but officials said the boyfriend discovered flames when one of the children came downstairs to get a pot of water.
A neighbor, identified as Kia, helped him and the only child who survived to escape the flames.
“I was able to help so I did. Any human being with a heart would have [done] the same thing,” Kia said.
Tragically, the fire happened less than two weeks before Christmas.
“If anybody can help we appreciate it, they need it. It’s just time for the community to pull together and really help these people,” Kia said.
Neighbors will be holding several donation drives to benefit the families.